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High Surf Warning in Effect for Big Island’s N & E Shores

January 9, 2019, 2:37 PM HST
* Updated January 9, 5:35 PM
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Update 3:38 p.m.:  

This is a High Surf Warning message for Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019, at 3:30 p.m.

The National Weather Service has issued a High Surf Warning for east-facing shores of Hawai‘i Island today through Thursday. A High Surf Warning means there is a threat to life and property from the surf.

Surf is forecast to continue through this evening in the area from Upolu Point to Cape Kumukahi then gradually subside Thursday. The highest threat will coincide with the high tide, which occurs around 6 in the morning.

Due to the High Surf Warning, the following are in effect:

  • State Department of Transportation has Closed Bayfront Highway in both directions. Use Kamehameha Avenue as an alternate route.
  • County Parks and Recreation has Closed Laupahoehoe Boat Ramp.
  • Oceanfront residents and beachgoers along the affected shores are advised to be on the alert for high and dangerous surf.
  • Boat owners and oceanfront residents should take action to secure their property.
  • Closures of roads and beaches may occur without notice.

Original Post: The National Weather Service in Honolulu has issued a High Surf Warning, which is in effect until 6 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, for east-facing shores of the Big Island.


Hawai‘i County Civil Defense reported this morning, Wednesday, Jan. 9, that Bayfront Drive in Hilo is closed in both directions. Laupahoehoe Boat Ramp is also closed.

SURF: 12 to 16 feet along east-facing shores of the Big Island, Moloka‘i and Maui
and 15 to 20 feet along north-facing shores of the Big Island, Moloka‘i and Maui.

TIMING: Building in the morning, peaking in the afternoon and evening, then declining Thursday.


IMPACTS: High; expect ocean water occasionally sweeping across portions of beaches, very strong breaking waves, and strong longshore and rip currents. Breaking waves may occasionally impact harbors making navigating the harbor channel dangerous.


Large breaking surf, significant shorebreak, and dangerous currents make entering the water very hazardous. Anyone entering the water could face significant injury or death. Boaters should be aware of an increased number of surfers and body boarders utilizing the harbor channel to access surfing areas.

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