High surf warning posted for first huge swell of the winter surf season

First Alert Forecast: Light winds expected to persist through Wednesday, XL surf building today
Published: Oct. 16, 2023 at 10:32 PM HST|Updated: 13 hours ago
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A high surf warning has been issued for the north and west facing shores of most of the smaller islands as the first huge swell of the season arrives.

The National Weather Service in Honolulu said the warning will be in effect until 6 p.m. Wednesday for the north and west shores of Niihau, Kauai, Oahu and Molokai, and the north shores of Maui.

Waves are forecast to build rapidly to 25 to 35 feet Tuesday for north shores, with waves rising to 18 to 24 feet for west shores.

The swell is expected to peak Tuesday night into Wednesday. The swell direction will become more northerly as the waves lower.

A high surf advisory is also in effect until 6 p.m. Wednesday for the island of Hawaii’s west-facing shores, where waves of 6 to 8 feet are expected.

Beachgoers should remain well away from the shoreline due to strong breaking waves and strong currents. The waves may also get high enough to cause road closures.

A small craft advisory will also be in effect for coastal and channel waters around the smaller islands due to the high seas caused by the swell.

Meanwhile, homeowners on Oahu’s North Shore are bracing for the large swell.

A high surf warning remains in effect through 6 p.m. Wednesday for north and west facing shores of most islands.