High surf warnings on north, west shores prompt beach closures

By Justin Fujioka
Published On: Dec 20 2013 11:11:00 AM HST
Kirk Passmore
HONOLULU -

The National Weather Service in Honolulu has issued a high surf warning until 6 a.m. Saturday for the north and west shores of Kauai and Niihau.

A high surf warning is also in effect until 6 p.m. Saturday for the west shore of the Big Island, where Hawaii County and state officials closed several beaches Friday because of hazardous conditions.

Click here to see awesome wave video from Keauhou, Big Island. Courtesy: Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay

Forecasters said a large west-northwest swell has more of a westerly component than normal, so west shores of the Big Island will see much larger-than-normal surf.

Hapuna Beach Park, Kahaluu Beach Park, Kohanaiki Beach Park or Pine Trees, Laaloa Beach Park or Magic Sands and all public areas at Kukio Beach and Four Seasons Resort Hualalai.

DLNR has also closed Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area, the Kua Bay section of Kekaha Kai State Beach Park, though the Mahaiula Section remains open, as well as the Lapakahi State Historical Park.

Surf of 20-to-30 feet with locally higher sets is expected. The larger sets will be more frequent on Kauai and Niihau, according to forecasters.

Forecasters said the surf will gradually diminish Saturday evening, but will likely remain hazardous through Sunday.

Expect ocean water occasionally sweeping across portions of beaches, very strong breaking waves and strong longshore and rip currents. Breaking waves may make navigating some harbor channels dangerous.

Stay well away from the shoreline in the affected areas. Heed all advice given by ocean safety officials and exercise extreme caution.

A high surf advisory is also in effect until 6 a.m. Saturday for the north shore of Oahu, Molokai, and Maui, along with the west shores of Oahu, Lanai and Kahoolawe

Expect 18-to-22-foot surf along north shores and 12-to-18 feet on west shores.

Ocean safety on Oahu reported 13 rescues and assists on the north shore Friday, 30 on the leeward coast and 11 on the south shore.

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