Trades return, largest swell of season arriving in isles late Monday

HONOLULU — Cloudy skies are expected over Hawaii island this afternoon as a lingering swath of moisture moves from west to east, according to weather forecasters.

For the rest of the isles, showers will favor windward slopes as locally breezy tradewinds develop across the state today.

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Surf along north shores will build to 5 to 8 feet today. Surf along east and west shores will be 3 to 6 feet today. Surf along south shores will be 3 to 5 feet.

A series of small to moderate swells from the northwest and southwest will bring an increase in surf over the weekend.

On Monday, however, an extra large, west-northwest swell is expected fill in and peak above warning levels late Monday into Tuesday for north and west shores. Weather officials said this swell will likely be the largest of the season thus far.

Various sources are expecting a yellow alert to be issued, meaning that the 34th annual “Eddie” big wave surfing tournament could be a go at Waimea Bay on Oahu. Organizers would make that call within the next 48 hours.

The holding period for “The Eddie” began Dec. 1, and lasts through Feb. 29, 2020. The contest will run if surf heights consistently reach 20 feet. The event has only been held nine times in its history.

A small craft advisory for Kauai’s northwest, windward and leeward waters, along with the Kauai Channel and Oahu’s windward waters, remains in effect through 6 a.m. today.

Weather officials continue to warn of periods of coastal flooding along all Hawaiian shores due to unusually high water levels, with the highest potential during high tide early in the morning.

“The higher than normal astronomical tides peaked during the past two nights and will gradually lower over the next several days,” said NWS in a special weather statement. “Impacts of the higher than normal water levels may include flooding of beaches that normally remain dry, salt water inundation of typically vulnerable low-lying roads, docks, boat ramps, and other coastal infrastructure.”

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Another record high of 90 degrees, meanwhile, matched a previous record set in 1992 in Kahului on Christmas Eve.

Despite cooler temperatures in December, weather officials logged a total of 11 record highs and matches in Lihue and Kahului. A total of four records and four matches have been set in Kahului, so far, this month, while one record and two matches have been set in Lihue.

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