Hawaii – String of Northwest Swells Expected

Hawaii – A series of large northwest swells have popped up in the forecast window, with separate pulses expected on Wednesday into Thursday and another next Monday. The long-range models are also showing a big swell brewing in the north Pacific that could bring the largest surf of the season so far later next week.

Looking at the forecast for the Northwest Hawaii station (@buoy51101), the next northwest swell is expected to build slowly through Thursday, peaking around 11 feet at 14 seconds (323°). This particular station provides about an 8-10 hour lead time from the north shore of O‘ahu, so expect conditions to be largest late Thursday afternoon.

The winds are expected to also increase in strength on Thursday however, with moderate northeast trade winds forecast. Those winds should turn slightly more east by Friday afternoon, before easing into a light east to east-southeast flow by the weekend.

Further out, the second northwest pulse is currently expected to build rapidly next Monday, with primary swell conditions approaching the 13 feet at 14 seconds range (323°) at Buoy 51101. If the models hold up, this swell will be larger than the first, with moderate east winds providing more favorable conditions. Given the travel time to O‘ahu, expect the surf to build late Monday afternoon into Tuesday (12/6).

Behind that swell, there is an even larger pulse currently brewing in the north Pacific. Surf from this storm should arrive around December 8th, which would coincide with the start of the 2011 Billabong Pipe Masters. Keep an eye on the forecast models to see how this swell shapes up over the next few days.

All three pulses have potential to produce the first good Pipeline swell of the season. If things turn on, be on the lookout for the first round of entries in the 2011-2012 Steep & Deep Pipeline Photo Challenge. It’s not too late to register either, surfers have until November 30th to sign up.