Nearby storm bringing big, choppy surf
A storm system that brought fast-moving thundershowers to parts of Oahu and Kauai yesterday -- forcing officials to cancel this weekend's Sunset on the Beach -- is also expected to bring big, choppy surf to Oahu's north- and east-facing shores today, forecasters said.
Forecasters issued a high-surf advisory for the northerly swell yesterday. It is in effect through 6 p.m. tomorrow.
"You not only have high surf, but you have rough surf," said National Weather Service lead forecaster Tim Craig. "It could be downright ugly."
Surf on the North Shore will peak tonight or early tomorrow, with wave faces as high as 18 feet.
East-facing shores will have wave faces between 6 and 10 feet.
Craig said the system that created the swell was about 500 miles north of Hawaii. Most winter swells come from the northwest, and are spurned by storms more than 2,000 miles away.
The closeness of this swell means that the period between wave sets will be between 9 and 13 seconds -- shorter than normal, which makes for choppy surf, he said.
The swell could also create problems for north-facing harbors, including those in Kahului and Hilo.
"Water will surge back in the harbor," Craig said.
Meanwhile, remnants of the system that brought showers to Oahu and Kauai yesterday are expected to move over Maui today.
Mona Woods, a spokeswoman for Sunset on the Beach, said event organizers decided to cancel both nights on Friday afternoon. The cancellation was announced yesterday.
"It didn't storm as badly as everybody was telling us," Woods said. "We were going back and forth."