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Marine Weather Message in Effect for the Coastal Waters

Marine section from the Area Forecast Discussion
issued at: Nov 20, 2017 8:28 PM HST

Surf along the north-facing shores of the state remains elevated. Evening buoy observations show little change during the past several hours, and heights remain above Wave Watch III guidance. The effect of the low bias in the guidance is that surf height will remain above High Surf Advisory (HSA) criteria through Tuesday morning. The north swell is expected to diminish Tuesday afternoon.

A Small Craft Advisory (SCA) remains in effect for all Hawaiian waters except Maalaea Bay and waters south of the Big Island due to the large north swell causing the combined seas to be above the 10-foot threshold. With wave heights running above guidance, the SCA has been extended through Tuesday morning.

Winds over the coastal and offshore waters remain generally from the north due to a low pressure system northeast of the state. The low is in the process of weakening and moving northeastward away from the island chain. As this occurs, a high pressure ridge will slowly build north of the forecast area through the week. Winds will slowly veer toward a trade wind direction and increase, reaching SCA levels Wednesday with near gale-force winds possible in some of the channels by Thursday.

In addition to the increasing trades, a new north-northeasterly swell is forecast to arrive later this week. The swell is currently projected to be a few feet larger than the current swell with a slightly longer period. This will translate to possible warning level surf for north facing shores, building late Wednesday and peaking on Thanksgiving Day. The swell direction will result in some wrap into the east facing shores so warning level surf is a possibility for these areas as well.

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About the Marine Program

Routine forecast are issued for the Hawaiian Coastal Waters, the Offshore Waters, and High Seas. Coastal Waters are within 40 nautical miles of the main Hawaiian islands. The Offshore area extends from this 40 nautical mile mark to 240 nautical miles of the main Hawaiian islands. The High Seas forecasts are issued for an area that covers approximately 15,000,000 square miles, extends as far north as 30N, and as far south as 25S, and between 120W south of the equator and 140W north of the equator to 160E.
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The marine forecasts issued are based on marine observations and model data. Marine observations include buoy and ship reports. Ship reports are invaluable to the NWS, and are reported through the U.S. Voluntary Observing Ship Project. If you are a mariner, please consider joining the nearly 1,000 volunteer ships from around the world that observe the weather at their location.