5.30am lahaina has head high waves. Couldn't see much along the road, but the wind was calm everywhere.
Friday, June 23, 2017
- size: head and a half
- shape: flawless
- quality: Indonesian
We knew this swell was going to last all week (and more), so there's more to be had today. I don't have any photos of the day (I had a morning work shift, after which I went windfoiling), so here's an amazing video from the Skeleton Coast in Namibia instead. The last wave is ridiculous: a full minute of one long barrel after another. I've never seen anything like that. It's a very demanding wave, with a steep drop and a a thick lip. It's sand, but it breaks in a foot of water and can punish you. It looks like pro's only to me, and that footage is mind blowing. Enjoy the vision.
2am significant buoy readings
3.5ft @ 15s from 125° (ESE)
3.6ft @ 15s from 148° (SE)
5.3ft @ 14s from 151° (SSE)
Can't really rely on the accuracy of the direction (for the reason I explained many times: the windswell (which I don't report) influences it), but the much higher reading at the SE buoy indicates that today's energy is bigger to our east. Bottom line is: there's waves also today. Check the webcams if the sun is up. I set a new seasonal record of early going to bed time and consequently I'm up very early and I plan on being out at dawn.
4.1ft @ 8s from 62° (ENE)
Nothing just yet on the north shore, other than the indicated windswell that, seen the unblocked direction, should make for some small waves at Hookipa.
Today I'm pushing the zoom to 300%, so we can have a closeup of the Maui winds. The color scale got cut out, but it's pretty intuitive and the every color represents a 5 knots range. This is noon.
North Pacific shows a tiny WNW fetch, a small N one and a NE elongated windswell one setting up.
South Pacific shows a bunch of fetches:
1) another example of a fetch I would have even noticed without the great circles map on the right. No idea of how much energy we will receive from it. Gonna be hard to detect it even when and if it arrives, because of the multiple sources
2) a Tasman sea one
3-4) two southerly fetches, one closer, one further away. Nothing major, but I like both and waves are being made for us.
Morning sky looks like classic trades, and another stunning day is on its way.
Thursday, June 22, 2017
This one is a much better way.
3am significant buoy readings
3.4ft @ 14s from 167° (SSE)
3.6ft @ 15s from 147° (SE)
4.2ft @ 15s from 156° (SSE)
Outer buoys still up, the indication of the period is only the dominant one, but there's a range of period and directions because of the many different sources, that should make for higher consistency (read Pat Caldwell's explanation). The bottom line is: plenty waves also today with another pulse forecasted to pick up later in the day.
In the meantime that Surfline fixes the readings of the Pearl Harbor buoy (I forgot to send them an email, but I will do that this morning), one very important detail about it is provided by Pat Caldwell:
The southern Hawaii NOAA buoys show dominant wave energy has spread within 14-17 seconds. The wider spread allows more consistency to the larger sets. The estimate of deep water swell height at the southern buoys is 5-6 feet. The new pacioos Pearl Harbor entrance buoys shows swell height closer to 2 feet. This low value is likely associated with the shallow location of 35 m. The recent Barbers Point buoy was in 300 m. The additional travel of the swell over the mamala bay shelf results in a frictional loss of swell size as measured at Pearl Harbor. The swell direction at Pearl Harbor is also influenced by the sea floor shape and proximity to the deep water channel, which biases the direction toward 165 degrees.
3.6ft @ 8s from 75° (ENE)
Not much to play with on the north shore, Hookipa at sunset was pretty much flat.
In the attempt of making these maps a little easier to read, I'm now gonna try to use a 240% magnification before snipping it for the blog. This is noon.
North Pacific offers small scattered fetches all around, but the most significant one is the one straight north of us, belonging to that low that I pointed out yesterday. But I was wrong in saying that is the one that will be responsible for the NE swell in the forecast for the first days of next week (4f 11s from 50 on Monday), since this one will only make for a couple of feet 10s over the weekend. The fetch (not oriented towards us yet) that will make for that bigger NE swell is the one indicated by the red arrow. Sorry about that mistake. Not that it changes much...
South Pacific offers a nice elongated southerly fetch with a central section of winds up to pockets of 35knots. Nothing to be excited about, but the south shore shouldn't go completely flat after the current long lasting one.
Classic trades sky and another stunning day is on its way.
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
6.30am hookipa looked knee high, Maalaea had some waves (don't feel like guessing the size, since I didn't stop), clean with moderate offshore, Ukumehame is chest to head high and clean but closing out in the big sets. That's all I saw so far, I'm waiting on a surf guide customer. More reports later.
A floater on a head high closeout section in front of a feet of water. He free fell in front of it and hopefully didn't hit the reef, but I got the feeling that next time he's gonna kick out instead.
Belly high can be extremely fun if it's perfect like that.
I took this shot from the car on my way to work after the second session in a nearby spot. I got some excellent waves and now I have a new problem: I have two very good 6.2's and I got to pick which one I want to keep and that's the biggest problem I have at the moment. What a life.
This might be one of the very first SUP foiling contests of history. Coming up the 24th and 25th in Waikiki. If Austin Kalama competes and pulls off one of his aerial rotations, I bet he'll take the win.
4am significant buoy readings
3.2ft @ 14s from 135° (SE)
3.9ft @ 14s from 163° (SSE)
4.3ft @ 14s from 165° (SSE)
0.5ft @ 5s from 154° (SSE)
Surfline did add the Pearl Harbor buoy to their list (link n.11), but it evidently needs some tuning as it only shows a tiny windswell reading, while the NOAA page shows 2.3f 14s. Don't worry, I'll email them again. In the meantime, we'll stick to the outer buoys that show still significant energy, but slightly less than yesterday afternoon. As predicted three days ago, the swell peaked during the night, but there's still plenty energy in the ocean and it should be another great day of surfing on the south shore. As usual, check the webcams before going. I'm off today and taking it easy and still home at 5.30am (unacceptable on working days!!), so that's what I'm doing. Lahaina still has solid head high plus sets like the one below.
2ft @ 9s from 329° (NW)
4.9ft @ 8s from 83° (E)
The small NW swell disappeared at the Pauwela buoy, but Waimea indicates that it's still there (at Pauwela it's masked by the strong windswell). Nonetheless, it's a sign that the size is now down a lot and Hookipa at sunset was quite small. And that's how it should be also today.
The wind blew pretty hard yesterday, so I'm gonna officially ditch the other model (that was wrong again). We'll stick to this in the hope that the much superior MC2km will be back online one day. Blog reader Ben left a comment saying that this model "nailed the wind at peaks perfectly this morning 8-11 when we were out". Good job at seeing that (I find it difficult, because of the low res), this is 12pm.
North Pacific offers a weak WNW fetch and the windswell one. The low I marked is going to have the trajectory indicated by the red arrow and move away from us, which is obviously not the best from the wave generation point of view. Nonetheless, it will get stronger (specially tomorrow) and will provide us with a NE swell predicted by Surfline to peak at 5f 11s from 52 degrees on Monday (picking up all day Sunday). This is going to be the last ground swell for a while and I see hints of a strong trades episode for the first days of July. Kinda early to call it official, we'll see.
South Pacific shows a decently oriented moderate southerly fetch. 1.5f 18s early Tuesday morning is the predicted peak. There's also a fetch SW of New Zealand, which I would have not been aware of without the great circles fetches map on the right. I love those maps.
Morning sky looks clear and another stunning day is on its way.
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Me too, but sometimes nature is just unpredictable. This is how pristine this spot looked throughout the duration of my lunch. It went onshore as soon as I paddled out and turned into junk in 2 minutes. Classic.
Levi Siver on the "occasional head high set" at Hookipa in the afternoon.
The stylish exit of the day award goes to Cookie.
2-3am significant buoy readings
2.6ft @ 17s from 161° (SSE)
3ft @ 17s from 192° (SSW)
3.3ft @ 17s from 161° (SSE)
Solid numbers at the outer buoys, today it's gonna be at least head high everywhere and on the slow rise all day. Could be up to double overhead at the standout spots. I'm gonna use Pat Caldwell's words again to describe the fetches in the collage below (June 14,15,6 and 17).
The SW and SE Pacific mid latitudes have had active extra-tropical cyclones for allowing above average surf this week. It should make for overlapping swell energy from within 140-200 degrees.
A captured fetch of severe gale to storm-force winds moved NNE over the 190-200 degree band hugging the east side of New Zealand 6/13-14. The fetch was relatively narrow due to the proximity of the land mass. Seas grew within 30-40 feet. Gales pushed into the subtropics 6/15.
The pacioos american samoa buoy showed a sharp rise in the 18-22 second band 6/16. This extra-long wave period energy has risen at the NOAA southern Hawaii buoys 6/19 near day break. With a narrow focus in the wave spectrum, sets locally should be inconsistent, though at times making above average breakers Monday afternoon for zones of high refraction.
The american samoa buoy had a maximum in the 14-18 second energy late Friday through Saturday. The long-period swell should be filled in locally above average by Tuesday, with a slow increase to a maximum Tuesday night well above average from 190-200 degrees. Swell energy from 190-200 degrees should slowly trend down, reaching average levels by Thursday and lingering into Friday.
A low pressure deepened near 50s, 160°W 6/15-16 reaching severe gale status. The magnitude of winds and seas was lower than the former, though it had a wider fetch. Seas grew to around 25 feet with a direct aim at Hawaii over the 175-190 degree band.
Long-period forerunners are due Wednesday night, with the event climbing above average Thursday, .peaking Thursday night, and holding above average on Friday. Heights should fall to near to a notch above the summer average on Saturday from near due south.
Wave energy in Hawaii this week is also expected from 140-160 degrees. A sequence of low pressure systems SW to S of Easter Island within 6/12-18 should make for a long-lived spell of SE swell. The first event should have long-period forerunners late Tuesday with the event peaking late Wednesday above average. The second event is on its heels, building Thursday and peaking Friday. It should linger near or a notch below average through the weekend.
4.4ft @ 10s from 309° (WNW)
3.5ft @ 11s from 317° (NW)
4.6ft @ 8s from 88° (E)
Wind map at 2pm.
Wind map at 2pm in this other model. Significant difference in the predicted wind strength. Could be the last time I post it if it ends up blowing strong instead.
North Pacific shows a small WNW fetch and the windswell one.
South Pacific has two small and weak closer fetches and one small but stronger more distant one.
Monday, June 19, 2017
2-4am significant buoy readings
2.8ft @ 12s from 156° (SSE)
2.9ft @ 12s from 160° (SSE)
4ft @ 12s from 164° (SSE)
Good numbers at the outer buoys, we should have plenty waves also today. The Lahaina webcam was pumping all day yesterday, check it out again to see how it looks like today. I should be able to post beach reports from there this morning.
In the meantime, let's have a look at the arrival time of the next bigger pulse, expected to hit tomorrow and Wednesday. I updated the time table of the travelling times from the Samoa buoy on the often referenced post Buoys to Maui travel times and Maui's shadow lines, easily accessible at any time through the labels section on the right column of this blog. Here it is for your convenience.
P S T (days)
11s = 17.16 = 5.5 12s = 18.72 = 5 13s = 20.29 = 4.5 14s = 21.84 = 4.2 15s = 23.4 = 4 16s = 24.96 = 3.7 17s = 26.52 = 3.5 18s = 28.08 = 3.3 19s = 29.64 = 3.1 20s = 31.2 = 3dNow, this is going to get a bit confusing because this morning I must have caught the graph of that buoy just before it got shifted to the next day and the time reference on the X axis of the graph on the right is totally wrong. Fortunately, on Saturday I saved the same graph (on the left) and that gives us the confirmation that the rise happened during the day on Friday. Surfline, that's a sloppy job.
As you can see from the red arrows I put on the graph, it took only 15h for the swell to go from 2f 20s to 7f 15s. That time interval will be dilated by the time those waves arrive to Maui, because of the different speed at which different periods travel. 20s take 3 days, so that means ROUGHLY Tuesday morning.around 6am. 15s instead take 4 days and that of course means ROUGHLY Wednesday morning around 6am.
Unfortunately the peak of this pulse will happen during the night between those two days, but I really encourage everybody not to get too fixated on those numbers, as they are only an indication. Many different things can happen on the way and we'll have more info tomorrow morning.
The Surfline forecast is quite in line with my prediction (or vice versa) and is reported below. Please notice how this is the only way of graphically represent three (or more) different swells on the same forecast chart and that's why it's my favorite:
- the red line for today is the 12s energy of the very first pulse
- the blue line is the 15s energy of the second pulse
- the yellow line is the third and biggest pulse of tomorrow.
This graphical representation also matches exactly how those swells will look on the buoys graphs.
5.3ft @ 10s from 329° (NW)
3.1ft @ 13s from 315° (NW)
3.4ft @ 8s from 92° (E)
2pm wind map 1
2pm wind map 2
North Pacific shows a tiny, strong and distant W fetch, a weak and close NW one and the remnant of the fetch that generated today's swell, now to the north of us. Nothing remarkable, but better than no fetches at all.
South Pacific shows many fetches too. The n.1 is the strongest with winds up to 55knots, but unfortunately tiny and very distant. The other three are closer and better oriented, but with much lighter winds. What I said above for the north applies here too: nothing remarkable, but better than no fetches at all.
We still got bands of north moving high clouds over us.
Sunday, June 18, 2017
Meanwhile, the first race of the 2017 Maui Race Series organized by Hi-Tech was taking place at Kanaha. Jimmie Hepp was there shooting and this is a crowded jibe from this gallery.
Here's the schedule of the other races.
3am significant buoy readings
2.8ft @ 13s from 160° (SSE)
2.9ft @ 13s from 179° (S)
6.2ft @ 8s from 93° (E)
Also notice how the direction of the 18s energy is completely wrong at the SE buoy, but that's because of the oscillations induced by the strong windswell (I left the 8s reading so you guys can see it), which won't effect the waves on the south shore (at least, we hope so).
So today it should be bigger and more consistent than yesterday, but check the webcams for confirmation of that, as I hope to be out of the door at dark and can't do that for you.
0.8ft @ 14s from 271° (W)
Wind map at 2pm.
Alternative wind map at 2pm.
North Pacific shows the stubborn NNW fetch that has been making waves for several days and tonight will finally save the north shore from its flatness.
South Pacific shows a well oriented, long fetch. Unfortunately, the winds in it are pretty light.
Morning sky shows some high clouds over Maui.
Saturday, June 17, 2017
I was so tired yesterday (the day of the flush is not exactly a fun one) that I was probably already asleep when Jimmie Hepp took this photo of the sunset.
3am significant buoy readings
2.3ft @ 15s from 168° (SSE)
2.7ft @ 14s from 171° (S)
2.4ft @ 15s from 181° (S)
I was right about those long period NE readings yesterday: they were the forerunners of the new south swell instead. That confirms the fact that the direction recorded by the buoys has to always be seriously questioned, specially at the beginning of a swell and in presence of other swells in the water.
Now I'm going to do a (rare) act of humbleness and not even try to describe with my words where the southerly energy at buoys is coming from. The reason is that such thing is already available on the internet and can't be bettered. So I'm just gonna quote what I consider my master Pat Caldwell.
A regime change from dominant high pressure cells and weak low pressure cells to winter caliber low pressure cells took place in the mid latitudes from Tasmania to Easter Island 6/9-16. This should lead to an above average swell pattern locally from within 140-220 degrees for the upcoming period.
Since the choice of words can't be improved (I often compare his writing to poetry), the only way to make that more clear is to provide you guys with some graphical representation. Let's first start from this weekend.
For the weekend, two sources are expected to overlap. The dominant surf is expected from a compact low that tracked east from New Zealand near 35°S 6/9-12. It had a direct aim at Hawaii with strongest winds to upper-end gales 6/10-11. This energy peaked at the pacioos american samoa buoy on 6/13 in the 14-16 second wave period band.
The NOAA southern Hawaii buoy 51002 had a jump up in the 16-17 second band in the morning 6/16. The pacioos Pearl Harbor entrance buoys shows a slow rise in 14-18 second bands 6/16. Surf should climb to near summer average levels near sundown from 185-200 degrees. This event should peak late Saturday and slowly drop through Sunday as the dominant direction favors 180-190 degrees.
The second source for surf in Hawaii 6/17-19 was from a storm- force system that tracked rapidly east S to SE of New Zealand along 65°S 6/10-11. The highest seas aimed at the Americas. Angular spreading should bring long-period swell locally slowly filling in late Saturday, peaking late Sunday, and dropping Monday from 180-200 degrees.
Below is the collage of the fetch maps of June 10th up to 13th. I chose clockwise, starting from the top left and I'm going to try to stick to that standard for the future 4 pics collages, so I don't have to write down the dates anymore (which slows me down). The date is also available in the file names (circled in red). I know it's hard to read, but you can click on the picture to see it bigger. The two fetches uncle Pat is talking about are clearly visible in the the 11 and 12 maps. Things are looking pretty good for Tuesday as the Samoa buoy has just recored readings like 5f 18 and 6f 15s, but I'll talk about it more in the next few days.
And yes, there is a new buoy at the entrance of Pearl Harbor in Oahu and I just emailed Surfline and asked them to add it to their lovely buoys summary page (link n.11 of GP's meteo websites list on the right column of this blog). In the meantime, here's what the related NOAA page shows: 2f 15s from SSE.
4ft @ 8s from 90° (E)
Only easterly windswell on the north shore. Hookipa was totally flat at sunset and that's no surprise with a 90 degrees direction. Flat also today is my call.
The wind model I've been using/testing for the last month was off again yesterday, so I'm now back to testing this other one. Pretty useless for the south shore, at least it seems to predict the north shore better. This is the 2pm map.
Well, this one was kindly customized for me, so I won't ditch it just yet. I'll post both models 2pm maps for a while and compare them. They look pretty similar today, but this one somehow always under predicts the wind down the coast towards Kahului.
North Pacific shows one more day of small waves generation by the NW fetch that we observed in the last four days. There might be sets of the related swell at sunset tomorrow, but for Maui is more like a Monday affair. We'll know much more when we read the buoys tomorrow morning.
South shore finally giving up a bit on the wave generation after a whole week of serious storms.
Morning sky shows some cloud bands moving north.