Large northwest swell forecast to produce 40-foot surf on Kauai

Large northwest swell forecast to produce 40-foot surf on Kauai
A high surf warning will take effect at 6 a.m. Monday for most north and west-facing shores. (Hawaii News Now File) (Source: Terry Reis)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Forecasters say a northwest swell could produce 40-foot surf on Kauai ― and almost that high on the other islands.

A high surf warning is in effect through Wednesday morning north and west shores of Niihau and Kauai, where waves will build rapidly Monday morning to 30 to 40 feet.

Kauai authorities are advising against swimming or snorkeling on north- and west-facing shores.

A high surf warning is also posted for the north and west shores of Oahu and Molokai, and the north-facing shores of Maui.

Forecasters expect waves to build Monday afternoon on Oahu’s North Shore and late Monday on Molokai and Maui’s north shores to 25- to 35-foot face heights.

Oahu’s west shore surf is expected to build Monday afternoon to 18 to 24 feet, with those heights expected later in the day for west beaches of Molokai.

The warning level surf is expected to continue through Tuesday night.

The expected waves are being generated by a hurricane-force storm low that formed to the east of Japan late last week.

Despite the potential for large waves, organizers of the Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational said they would not hold the prestigious surf contest because the swell is forecast to peak during the overnight hours Monday into Tuesday.

Impacts from the high waves could include ocean water surging and sweeping across beaches, coastal benches and lava flow shorelines, with the potential to inundate coastal properties and infrastructure.

The waves could also cause powerful longshore and rip currents and a large and hazardous shorebreak.

This story will be updated.

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