Hawaii – December 4th Forecast Update

Hawaii surf forecast update for December 4th, 2011: Good news for the 2011 Billabong Pipeline Masters. Back-to-back northwest swells forecast to grace the North Shore with head-high to double-overhead surf Tuesday through Saturday.

Both pulses are visible in the detailed Waimea Bay forecast above, with the first swell building rapidly on Tuesday before fading on Wednesday. The second, larger swell is packing much more energy, and is expected to build throughout the day on Thursday, peaking overnight before tapering off into the weekend.

Surf on Tuesday, December 6th looks really fun, with head-high+ conditions expected in the morning (5 feet at 15 seconds, 320°) and building throughout the day to overhead+ by the evening (7 feet at 13 seconds, 319°). Light east winds are expected to increase in strength throughout the day, but remain easterly, which should result in favorable conditions all day long.

On Thursday, December 8th, 20-second forerunners are forecast to start showing on the Waimea Bay buoy just after midnight. This swell is packing a lot more energy than Tuesday’s, and is forecast to build rapidly as the day progresses, reaching conditions in the 8 feet at 16 seconds (312°) by late afternoon. The wind outlook is favorable, with east-northeast trades in the 14 knot range expected.

Thursday marks the first day of the 2011 Pipe Masters holding period, which will likely commence with the initial rounds of competition. Keep an eye on the Northwest Hawaii (@buoy51101) buoy between midnight and 8 a.m. on Thursday, as those reports will be an excellent indicator of what we can expect to see throughout the day.

The action continues on Friday, December 9th as the northwest swell settles into a consistent 8 feet at 15 seconds (313°). Winds remain favorable, 13-15 knots from the east to east-northeast. Given the swell’s size, consistency, and favorable direction for Pipeline, expect the ASP to go at it again on Friday in epic, double-overhead surf.

In summary, a lot of surf headed towards the North Shore this week, with a solid pulse on Tuesday and the first proper Pipe swell hitting Thursday into Friday. Expect things to be extra frothy in the Ehukai zone, with the full ASP tour descending for the Pipe comp, and everyone trying to get a warm-up session in before Thursday.

Thursday will mark opening day at Pipeline, so things will be ultra frothy as everyone tries to get in on the action. If the event runs (not sure why it wouldn’t, but who knows), it will definitely be interesting to watch, since everyone will be working out their Pipeline jitters during a heat. Gotta say, the forecast favors the experienced Pipe surfers, especially those with heats in the latter half of round one. A raw, long-period, double-overhead swell on the rise… if I were a wildcard, I’d be psyched.