Forecast: Tracking a weak front and a big swell

Forecast: Tracking a weak front and a big swell

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It is a gorgeous day in paradise with blue skies and a few clouds.

It is a little hazy on parts of Maui County and Hawaii Island this afternoon due to the light winds. We are expecting widespread afternoon sea breezes and nighttime land breezes. With radiational cooling during the evening (in combination of light winds and clear skies) our overnight temperatures started cooler than normal across the state.

After a cool start, we are seeing temperatures climb to the 80s in many spots with abundant sunshine along with a few mauka clouds. The lower dew point temperatures are helping make it feel comfortable and not humid even with the light winds.

A dissipating cold front will move through Kauai late tonight and Oahu and Maui County on Wednesday. This will bring low clouds and limited rainfall to mainly our north facing slopes. Most weather models are showing light rain to approach the Garden Isle and Gathering Place after midnight with rain mainly impacting parts of the state during the morning hours and then slowing down even more.

We are not expecting a lot of rain from this front since there is not a whole lot of upper level support or dynamics to produce substantial rain. As the front treks towards the east and then dissipates, an area of high pressure behind the front will generate north winds for Wednesday night into Thursday (mainly for the western end of the state). Then light trade winds will build back in over the state as an area of high pressure takes charge to our north.

The tail-end of another approaching weak front will weaken that area of high pressure and then light winds return (at times blowing in from the south) .  This scenario will help keep reestablish the afternoon sea breezes (the pattern we are currently in right now).


We are also tracking another large NNW swell that will spread across our Hawaiian waters beginning late tonight. It will be strong enough to post a small craft advisory for those waters exposed to the NNW swell. Seas will become elevated above 10 feet through Thursday afternoon before dropping from west to east as the swell trends down Thursday evening. Right behind it, another big swell will take on the islands on Sunday.

Wave models show that our next NNW swell (that will arrive tonight into Wednesday). This swell is associated with a storm that had hurricane force winds at the center. It will likely reach warning criteria along north and west facing shores for most of the islands into Wednesday evening. It is then set to gradually drop Wednesday night into Thursday. Then a large WNW swell is likely Sunday through Monday, resulting in another round of warning-level surf along north and west facing shores, including west facing shores of the Big Island. Stay tuned for updates and check with Ocean Safety on specific beach conditions.


High Surf Warning and Small Craft Advisory for a rising northwest swell due in overnight, peaking Wednesday with extreme wave heights. North shores 30-40 feet, west shores 20-30 feet, conditions will be life-threatening along the affected coastlines through Saturday.

An approaching front will bring increasing clouds with a few scattered showers, mainly for the windward areas of Kauai and Oahu, with light to moderate rainfall totals. Drier conditions are due by tomorrow afternoon. The front will also shift the winds, north northeast winds of 5-15 mph will run through tomorrow morning, shifting to the northeast through Friday. Variable winds are due back for the weekend.

Go to the Hawaii News Now Weather page for the latest forecast or check out our Interactive radar.
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