East Hawaii News

UPDATE High surf warning extended for portions of Big Island until 6 a.m. Friday

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Updated 8:35 a.m. Jan. 12: The National Weather Service has extended its high surf warning for west-facing shores of the Big island until 6 a.m. Friday. Surf is forecast for 15 to 20 feet today and gradually diminishing tonight.

Original post: A significant northwest swell building down the Hawaiian island chain has prompted the National Weather Service in Honolulu to issue two surf advisories for portions of the Big Island.

A high surf warning is in effect until 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 12, for the island’s west-facing shores from Upolu Point in North Kohala to areas of South Kona.

Surf of 5 to 8 feet building to 8 to 12 feet is expected tonight along western shores. Expect ocean water surging and sweeping across beaches, coastal benches and lava flows, creating the potential for impacts to coastal properties and infrastructure, including roadways. Powerful longshore and rip currents will also be present at most beaches.


The National Weather Service advises people to stay away from the affected shorelines and be
prepared for road closures. Because of the high surf warning, Hawai’i County Civil Defense advises:

  • Secure property and vessels prior to impacts in the warning area.
  • Beachgoers, swimmers and surfers should exercise caution and heed all advice given by ocean safety officials.
  • Beaches and roads could be closed without notice.

A high surf advisory is also in effect until 6 p.m. Thursday for the Big Island’s north-facing shores. Surf is expected to build to 10 to 15 feet this afternoon along these shores, then to 18
to 22 feet Thursday.

Strong breaking waves and strong currents will make swimming in the advisory area dangerous. When in doubt, don’t go out.


The northwest swell creating the advisory and warning level surf is forecast to peak today, then gradually begin lowering through the day Thursday, eventually shifting out of the north-northwest late tonight through the day Thursday.

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