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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Friday, December 17, 2004

More big waves in forecast

By Mike Gordon
Advertiser Staff Writer

The ocean's awesome display of big-wave power will continue for several days, and forecasters predicted two more northwest swells will produce waves with 30-foot faces.

The National Weather Service yesterday said the next swell should begin rising along north-facing shores across the state early this afternoon and peak by early tomorrow. By Monday night, the third large swell in less than a week will slam shorelines.

Both new swells should produce wave faces in the 25- to 30-foot range, said Pete Donaldson, forecaster for the weather service.

"This is the time of year when we just have surf constantly," Donaldson said.

Wednesday's forecast predicted 50-foot faces shores, and experts said waves that huge probably did roll through. Thousands rushed to the North Shore on that day, lured by the waves and the thrill of seeing surfers attack the monster waves as part of the The Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational.

So how big was Wednesday?

"We're not too concerned about how big the waves were," Donaldson said. "We are looking to the future so we can warn people. Unfortunately, the estimates you get of wave heights tend to be colored by other things than objectivity."

Staff writer Curtis Lum contributed to this report. Reach Mike Gordon at mgordon@honoluluadvertiser.com or 525-8012.