High-surf warning up through today

The Maui News

Waves of 15 to 20 feet were breaking outside Baldwin Beach in Paia on Wednesday morning with a high-surf warning in effect for north shores of Maui and Molokai and west shores of Molokai.

The National Weather Service posted the warning until 6 p.m. today.

A large northwest swell was expected to spread from northwest to southeast down the island chain Wednesday, generating the very large and dangerous surf along north- and west-facing shores of Molokai and north-facing shores of Maui.

Warning-level surf is expected to lower to advisory level late today and continue through Friday. Waves were forecast to reach 25 to 35 feet Wednesday, diminishing to 20 to 25 feet today along north-facing shores. Surf of 18 to 24 feet Wednesday was expected to lower to 15 to 20 feet today along the west-facing shores of Molokai.

At 10:40 a.m. Wednesday, the weather service surf observations from county lifeguards and observers showed 15 to 20 feet surf outside of Baldwin Beach and 3 to 5 feet along the shoreline and 4 to 10 feet at Kanaha near Kahului Airport.

Beachgoers were warned to expected surging waves that sweep across beaches, coastal benches and lava flows. There also will be powerful longshore and rip currents in the ocean.

Small-craft advisories also were up until 6 p.m. Friday for Maui County channels. Seas were expected to be 10 to 14 feet with easterly winds 29 mph, the weather service said.

The forecast through Friday is for partly cloudy skies with scattered showers over windward and mountain areas. There is a 70 percent chance of rain from tonight through Friday night.

High temperatures could reach 84 degrees with lows 67 degrees. Winds are expected to blow from the east to northeast at 15 to 25 mph.