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FZHW52 PHFO 260135

Surf Zone Forecast
National Weather Service Honolulu HI
335 PM HST Sat May 25 2019

335 PM HST Sat May 25 2019

Surf along south facing shores will be 4 to 6 feet tonight, rising to
5 to 8 feet Sunday.

Surf along north facing shores will be 4 to 6 feet through Sunday.

Surf along west facing shores will be 3 to 5 feet tonight, rising 
to 4 to 6 feet Sunday.

Surf along east facing shores will be 4 to 6 feet tonight, lowering 
to 3 to 5 feet Sunday.

Outlook through Saturday June 01:
Advisory-level surf will likely continue into Monday as a long-period
south-southwest swell holds. Although a downward trend is anticipated
along south facing shores Monday night into Tuesday, a new long-period
south swell is expected, which will keep the surf up through midweek.
As the current small out-of-season northwest swell slowly eases early
next week, a similar northwest swell will fill in by Thursday. These
back-to-back sources should keep the surf from going flat up north 
through a good portion of the upcoming week. Surf along east facing 
shores will remain up through Sunday, then gradually lower early next 
week as the trades weaken. An upward trend will become a possibility 
later in the week as the trades strengthen once again. 

Surf heights are forecast heights of the face, or front, of waves. The
surf forecast is based on the significant wave height, the average
height of the one third largest waves, at the locations of the largest
breakers. Some waves may be more than twice as high as the
significant wave height. Expect to encounter rip currents in or near
any surf zone.



FXHW52 PHFO 250112

Collaborative Nearshore Swell and Wind Forecast for Oahu
NWS/NCEI Honolulu HI
312 PM HST Fri May 24 2019

This collaborative forecast will be updated Monday through Friday at
300 PM when Pat Caldwell is available.

DATE      HGT  DIR  PD    1/3  1/10  TEND   PROB  SPD    DIR    TEND

1 PM        3  NW    11     3     5  UP           10-15   E     UP  
05/24       6  E      8     3     5  UP  
            3  SSW   14     4     6  DOWN

SAT         4  NW    12     5     7  UP     HIGH  10-15   E     SAME
05/25       6  E      9     4     6  SAME   MED 
            3  SSW   12     3     5  DOWN   LOW 
            2  SSW   20     4     6  UP     LOW 

SUN         4  NW    12     5     7  DOWN   MED    9-13   E     SAME
05/26       4  E      9     3     5  DOWN   LOW 
            4  SSW   16     6     8  UP     LOW 

MON         3  NNW   11     3     5  DOWN   LOW    9-13   E     SAME
05/27       4  E      7     1     2  DOWN   LOW 
            4  SSW   15     6     8  DOWN   LOW 

TUE         3  NNW   11     3     5  UP     LOW    9-13   E     SAME
05/28       4  E      7     1     2  SAME   LOW 
            3  SSW   12     3     5  DOWN   LOW 
            2  S     16     3     6  UP     LOW 

WED         3  NNW   10     3     5  DOWN   LOW   10-15   E     UP  
05/29       4  E      7     1     2  SAME   LOW 
            3  S     14     4     6  SAME   LOW 

SWL HGT    Open ocean swell height measured from trough to crest
           in feet located 20 nautical miles offshore
DMNT DIR   Dominant direction typically +/-10 degrees in 16 compass
DMNT PD    Dominant period in seconds
H1/3       Significant wave height in the surf zone
H1/10      Average height in the highest one-tenth waves in the surf
HGT TEND   Height tendency of swell (valid values: UP/DOWN/SAME)
PROB       Probability of occurrence (valid values: HIGH/MED/LOW)
WIND SPD   Open water wind speed measured in knots located
           20 nautical miles offshore
WIND DIR   Wind direction in 16 compass points
SPD TEND   Wind speed tendency (valid values: UP/DOWN/SAME)

Surf heights will vary between different beaches and at the same
beach at different break areas.

Active surf pattern over the holiday weekend.

Mid Friday on northern shores has rising breakers from 300-320
degrees. Heights should trend up into Saturday.

A low pressure occluded near 40N, 175W Tuesday 5/21. The pattern
remained stationary into Friday 5/24. Models show this Aleutian 
low system to have a slow northward shift 5/25 with reinforcement
short-waves spaced a few days apart feeding the upper level 
gyre to keep continued surface low pressure systems with winds 
aimed at Hawaii. This should make for a long-lived spell of NW to
NNW surf locally into the long range.

PacIOOS/CDIP Waimea, Oahu buoy Friday 5/24 mid day shows the new 
swell is filling in. The event should climb into Saturday above 
the May average from 300-320 degrees and hold about the same into 
Sunday. Heights should slowly trend down late Sunday into Monday 
to near the average from 300-330 degrees.

The first reinforcement surface low pressure area is modelled to 
have strong breezes with pockets to near gales near 1200 nm away 
5/25-26 to the NNW of Hawaii north of 40N south of the Aleutians.
This should keep near average surf locally Tuesday into Wednesday
from 315-330 degrees.

Mid Friday on eastern shores has rising breakers from 70-90
degrees to near the trade windswell average. Heights should trend
up into Saturday from the same direction.

Surface high pressure has been anchored near 40N, 140W this week.
A long, wide fetch of fresh to strong trades set up within 20-25N,
140-155W. Wave Watch III predicts this upstream windswell source 
to peak locally on Saturday with breakers above average. 

The Friday morning 5/24 ASCAT showed the trades in the fetch to
the east of Hawaii on a weakening trend. Models show further
weakening into the weekend. Breakers from E windswell should taper
down Sunday to below average by late in the day. Low breakers
should be the rule for Monday into Wednesday.

Mid Friday on southern shores has breakers from 180-200 degrees at
levels above the seasonal average. Heights should trend down
Saturday morning then trend up again in the afternoon.

The New Zealand south swell source area was active 5/14-20 within
35-70S, 160E to 160W. This places the local swell out of 180-200
degrees. A sequence of fetches filled the area and have been 
keeping active surf this week with overlapping events. The last
one is expected to be the largest locally peaking Sunday into

This final source over the 180-200 degree band had a long, wide
fetch 5/17-20 with severe gales growing seas to near 30 feet.
Those were weaker winds relative to the Mothers Day swell source 
near the same area, so this event is expected to be a notch lower 
locally. As with the Mothers Day event, and as is most often the 
case from the New Zealand source region, highest aim of seas and 
swell were off to the SE of Hawaii. This places higher error bars 
on the local surf estimate.

The PacIOOS/CDIP American Samoa buoy registered the rise of this
event with 6 feet deep water swell at 15-17s building 5/22 and
slowly dropping 5/23-24. These wave periods reflects the severe 
gale source. The Mothers Day source had winds to storm- force and 
the dominant period was longer.

Wave Watch III places the onset stage for the new event locally
Saturday 5/25 centered from 190 degrees. Inconsistent sets above
average are possible 5/25 PM.

The event should be filled in by Sunday 5/26 with a peak late in
the day well above average. Slow change is expected with similar
surf Monday morning followed by a downward trend into Tuesday from
180-200 degrees. Small surf from this direction should hold into

The New Zealand source zone of 5/14-20 shifted to the eastern edge
of the Hawaii swell window south of French Polynesia 5/21-24. It 
is expected to hold over this area into 5/26, making for a series 
of lower events locally from 175-185 degrees, each being a notch 
smaller. Comparison of Wave Watch III output points of Pago Pago 
and Papeete show the further east dominance of the swell swath 
with low, long period swell at the former and large long-period 
swell at the latter. This near miss to the east makes for big 
error bars on the local surf estimate.

The first one flared up as it crossed over 160W south of Hawaii 
5/21-22 with gales to severe gales aimed highest SE of Hawaii. 
Long period onset from source centered near 180 degrees is 
expected within late Monday 5/27 to mid Tuesday 5/28. It should 
peak near to a notch above average early Wednesday.

Into the long range, the second flair up at 160W south of French
Polynesia took place 5/23-24 with weaker winds and less northward
aim of seas. This event is expected to stay on the low side of the
average locally within 5/29-6/1 from 180 degrees. Hints of one
more low one near background levels for 6/2-4 from the same 

In the north Pacific, the second reinforcement to the Aleutian low
is due 5/28-29 and could make for tiny to small NNW surf locally

East side is predicted to trend up 5/31-6/2.

Long range forecasts are subject to high uncertainty.

This collaborative forecast will resume on Tuesday, May 28.

This forecast was produced through the collaborative efforts of
NWS and NCEI. Please send suggestions to
or call the Warning Coordination Meteorologist at 808-973-5275.



NWS Forecaster and NCEI Pat Caldwell

Additional Resources:

Waimea Buoy Kailua Buoy Kaumalapau SW Lanai Buoy Barbers Point, Kalaeloa Buoy Pauwela, Maui Hilo Bay Buoy Kaneohe Bay Buoy Hanalei Kauai Buoy Pearl Harbor Entrance
Buoy 51001 Buoy 51101 Buoy 51000 Buoy 51100 Buoy 51002 Buoy 51003 Buoy 51004

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