Forecast: State sees big surf, rain - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Forecast: State sees big surf, rain

This month, a common trend has been tracking weak fronts and huge swell-makers.

El Nino is one of the reasons why we’ve been seeing this pattern. Low-latitude Pacific storms have been generating swell energy with a series of back-to-back warnings for the north- and west-facing shores.

We're also seeing the tail-end of the fronts associated with these storms that are hundreds of miles north of the islands.

Since there is a huge buffer between Hawaii and the center of these storms, they do not produce substantial rain; rather we see significant surf.

El Nino during our winter months is also known to bring drought conditions to places like Hawaii Island. These fronts, have been fairly weak -- so much so that the Big Island normally doesn’t get a chance to get much rain from them.

The front is forecast to dissipate near Maui or the Big Island later today and tonight.

Behind this front, we are expecting a rather dry air mass to take over along with light winds. We may see more voggy days as south winds and the light sea breeze develops.

Another weak front will approach the area later in the week. Again, this will likely bring rain to Kauai’s north-facing slopes on Friday and Oahu and Maui County on Saturday. The tail-end of this front will impact the state and it will likely be accompanied by some light showers.

Surf Outlook:

The current large northwest swell will keep spreading southeast across the island chain today; it is expected to peak this evening.

Surf will reach the warning threshold for the north and west facing shores through the overnight hours, and then it will gradually decrease to advisory levels by Tuesday. An even larger northwest swell is expected Wednesday. It will peak Wednesday night then gradually diminish through the weekend.

The latest models have the most intense swell energy stay over the ocean north of the islands, but it will still be large enough to issue a warning. And then, another significant northwest swell is expected to arrive next Sunday.

Stay tuned for updates on these enormous swells, and check with Ocean Safety on current conditions at specific beaches.

- Jennifer Robbins

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