Forecaster Blog: Hawaiian Triple Crown Kicks Off With Large North Swell

12 Nov 2013 0 Share

Forecaster Blog by Ben Macartney, Tuesday, 12 November 2013.

The excitement is palpable. Mick Fanning v Kelly Slater for the 2013 ASP World Title – at the Banzai Pipline. Booya.  The only other sporting event that comes close to generating so much excitement (and draws some parallels with this titanic struggle) is the Chess (FIDE) World Championship Match currently underway in Chennai, India, between the current reigning world champ; 44 year old Vishy Anand of India and the young gun; 22 year old Magnus Carlsen of Norway. However, I digress. Almost every pro-surfer in the chase for ratings points have converged on Hawaii for the final leg of the World Tour – commencing with the first of three triple crown contests – the Reef Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa. So what's happening on the swell front?

The opening days of the Vans Tripple Crown are set to pump as a strong NNW groundswell kicks in. Image: ASP/ Cestari.

The opening days of the Vans Tripple Crown are set to pump as a strong NNW groundswell kicks in. Image: ASP/ Cestari.

Being Hawaii, there will of course be swell – and lots of it. But it’s not the usual WNW or NW groundswell you’d expect. Indeed, the North Pacific is currently under the influence of a monster high pressure system that’s thoroughly suppressing cyclogenesis over the north-west Pacific. Instead, Oahu feels the brunt of a directional, closer range NNW swell, generated by an extensive, gale force northerly fetch spanning the massive high’s eastern flank and a relatively small low pressure system located about 800 nautical miles off the US west coast. This is compounded by the development of a second low pressure system rapidly intensifying just  850 nautical miles north north-west of Oahu over the next two days – again combining with the static North Pacific high to set up northerly gales within close range of the Hawaiian Islands.

The end result is a sustained run of mid period NNW groundswell; a first large pulse arriving out of the 350 degree band on Wednesday, backed up by slightly smaller groundswell from the same direction through Thursday 14 and Friday 15 November. Given Haleiwa is partially shadowed from this directional band by Puena Point, surf heights are loosely projected to range from four to six feet, with larger eight foot sets on Wednesday, scaling back a foot or so into Thursday and Friday. This should leave smaller leftovers in the two to four foot range for Saturday 16, grading smaller again by Sunday 17 November. Don't forget we're offering the chance to go and watch the World Title showdown unfold at the Billabong Pipe Masters commencing on 8 December.

A monster high pressure system anchored over the North Pacific sets up a large N swell for the Hawaiian Islands this week. Image: NOAA.

A monster high pressure system anchored over the North Pacific sets up a large N swell for the Hawaiian Islands this week. Image: NOAA.

A deep belt of northerly gales gives rise to a large NNW groundswell inbound across Oahu from Wednesday to Friday. Source: FNMOC.

A deep belt of northerly gales gives rise to a large NNW groundswell inbound across Oahu from Wednesday to Friday. Source: FNMOC.


Tags: Hawaii , Haleiwa , Mick Fanning , surf forecast (create Alert from these tags)

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