LIHU‘E — The National Weather Service issued a high-surf warning for north- and west-facing shores of all the islands through 6 p.m. today.
The northwest swell that arrived Sunday was expected to produce rapidly-rising surf along most north- and west-facing shorelines, states the surf advisory from the NWS.
Entering the water in these areas during the high-surf warning is very hazardous and could cause serious injury or death, states a release from the Kaua‘i Fire Department Ocean Safety Bureau.
Spectators are also advised to use extreme caution, as large breaking waves, estimated to reach 20 to 30 feet with locally higher sets, could pose hazards for those standing along the shoreline.
Surf on the west-facing shores of Ni‘ihau, Kaua‘i, O‘ahu, and Moloka‘i are expected to reach 15 to 20 feet, with locally higher sets. Ocean water from the very strong breaking waves is expected to occasionally sweep across portions of beaches and produce strong longshore and rip currents, the NWS states.
The NWS states that large, breaking surf, significant shorebreak and dangerous currents make entering the water very hazardous, and anyone entering the water could face significant injury or death.
The recent moderate northwest swell that arrived last week is fading, but long-period forerunners from the new, larger northwest swells were reaching the far northwestern buoys Sunday.
A high-surf warning has been issued for the anticipated arrival of this swell.
Surf from the swell will not be as large as last week’s event, but the NWS anticipated surf to reach warning criteria later Sunday when the swell peaks.
Surf is expected to peak Sunday afternoon through early Monday morning before gradually lowering through the day today. Reinforcing, smaller northwest swells are expected to fill in on Tuesday, peaking during the day Tuesday with a gradual fall-off starting Wednesday.
The NWS states that trade winds over and upwind of the state will continue to produce small, shorter-period, choppy surf along east-facing shores into early next week. The seasonal, small surf of 2 to 4 feet along south-facing shores will continue through today.
For up-to-date information about Kaua‘i ocean conditions and ocean safety, speak with a county lifeguard at any of the lifeguard stations, or visit hawaiibeachsafety.com.