Air Temperatures – The following maximum temperatures were recorded across the state of Hawaii Tuesday:
Lihue, Kauai – 77
Honolulu airport, Oahu – 79
Kaneohe, Oahu – M
Molokai airport – 76
Kahului airport, Maui – 80
Kona airport – 82
Hilo airport, Hawaii – 79
Air Temperatures ranged between these warmest and coolest spots near sea level – and on the highest mountain tops…as of 5pm Tuesday afternoon:
Kailua-kona – 79
Princeville, Kauai – 72
Haleakala Crater – 50 (near 10,000 feet on Maui)
Mauna Kea – 36 (near 13,800 feet on the Big Island)
Hawaii’s Mountains – Here’s a link to the live web cam on the summit of near 13,800 foot Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawaii. This web cam is available during the daylight hours here in the islands…and when there’s a big moon shining down during the night at times. Plus, during the nights you will be able to see stars, and the sunrise and sunset too…depending upon weather conditions. Here's the Haleakala Crater webcam on Maui…although this webcam is often not working correctly.
Nice weather in general, with windward
showers at times…locally windy
As this weather map shows, we have a strong near 1027 millibar high pressure system to the north-northwest, and far to the east-northeast of the islands. The tail-end of a cold front coming off the mainland west coast is over the ocean to our northeast. Our winds will remain active from the trade wind direction….easing up some Wednesday.
The following numbers represent the strongest wind gusts (mph), along with directions Tuesday evening:
31 Lihue, Kauai – NE
37 Kuaokala, Oahu – NE
30 Molokai – NE
36 Kahoolawe – NE
31 Kahului, Maui – NE
38 Lanai – NE
33 Kealakomo, Big Island – NE
We can use the following links to see what’s going on in our area of the north central Pacific Ocean Tuesday evening. Looking at this NOAA satellite picture we see lots of scattered low clouds upstream of the islands…with generally clear skies downwind from the leeward sides. We can use this looping satellite image to see low clouds coming into the state, carried by the trade winds. Checking out this looping radar image we see a few showers falling generally over the ocean, with some being carried over the islands by the trade winds, mostly over the windward coasts and slopes at the time of this writing.
Here are the 24-hour precipitation totals (inches) for each of the islands as of Tuesday evening:
0.27 Mount Waialeale, Kauai
0.20 Oahu Forest NWR, Oahu
0.47 Puu Kukui, Maui
2.11 Kawainui Stream, Big Island
Sunset Commentary: As has been the case recently, a well established trade wind weather pattern will remain in control over the islands. The wind speeds will dip slightly in strength over the next few days. As we get into around Thursday and Friday, they will pick up again modestly, before relaxing a bit going into the weekend. These fluctuations won't be all that noticeable to the average citizen however. As for showers, there will continue to be increases and decreases, although nothing out of the ordinary is expected for the time being. The latest satellite image shows the next band of showery clouds approaching the north and east facing coasts and slopes this evening…the windward sides of the islands as usual. There are no cold fronts slated to arrive during the next week, nor any unsettled weather periods forecast either.
Here in Kula, Maui at 530pm HST, we had calm winds, with partly cloudy skies…and an air temperature of 70.5F degrees. Today seemed more like a summer day, than approaching the end of the winter rainy season. It was warm and sunny, very sunny in many parts of the islands. As I was noting above, there's nothing out of the ordinary in terms of weather expected to happen here in the islands now. High pressure to our north is still spinning-out active trade winds, which are locally quite gusty. These trade winds will carry showery clouds in our direction at times, the majority of them will end up along our north and east facing coasts and slopes. The south and west facing leeward beaches will be in good shape, with great weather in general. There's a modest early season south swell bringing a few waves to the leeward beaches now, although they will be small enough…that they shouldn't be too much of a problem for swimmers.
~~~ I had an opportunity to drive up the mountain again this morning, which was wonderful. I was at the 7,000 foot elevation, well above any clouds that were hugging the slopes below. I threw down a mat and did some yoga, and then took to the road for some quality skateboarding fun. I held my smartphone in my hand, and took some nice video footage of this action, wish I could somehow share it with you! I'd probably be up there again tomorrow if it weren't for a haircut in Haiku late tomorrow morning…it's hard to resist when you have the Haleakala National Park as your backyard!
~~~ I'll be back early Wednesday morning with your next new sunrise commentary. I hope you have a great Tuesday night until then! Aloha for now…Glenn.
Extra: I've been tracking the number of page views for this website, and continue to be happy with the results…as today shows 370,516. This growing number has surpassed 1/3 of a million hits so far this month, which is exciting to me. There have been 3,390 google ad clicks at the same time, which is good, as this is how I partly earn a few bucks for my time and effort at keeping Hawaii Weather Today updated each day.
Last month there were a total of 388,252 page views, with 3,065 google ad clicks. It's more than the numbers though, its that "I write and you read", that's the real beauty of this weather relationship that we have going on here! It's that you are interested in the weather too, just as I am, and we get the job done together so well.
I absolutely know that when the weather here in Hawaii is a big deal, going off so to speak, many more of you come looking for information…and when things settle down, like now, the numbers slim down quickly. At any rate, thank you very much for making this website…at least one of your weather information sources! Aloha, Glenn.
Interesting: It's not too late to catch the spectacular Venus and Jupiter show. On Tuesday evening, Venus and Jupiter will appear just 3 degrees apart in the western sky. The gap has been narrowing since last month. The two planets are visible every night at twilight.
Venus is the brighter of the two because of its relative closeness, compared with super-far-away Jupiter. Even though the gap will widen, the planets will appear remarkably close all week and be easily visible the rest of this month.
Grab a small telescope, and you can also catch Jupiter's four largest moons. Astronomers say it's the best evening tag-up of Venus and Jupiter in years. In July, early-risers will be treated to a similar spectacle, in the eastern sky at daybreak.
Interesting2: During some winters a significant amount of snow falls on parts of California. During other winters — like this one (so far) — there is much less snow. But more than 130 years of snow data show that over time snowfall in California is neither increasing nor decreasing.
The analysis of snowfall data from as far back as 1878 found no long-term trend in how much snow falls in the state, especially in the critical western slope of the Sierra Nevada mountains, said John Christy, director of the Earth System Science Center at The University of Alabama in Huntsville.
"There isn't a trend significantly different from zero for the whole period," Christy said. "I also looked at just the past 50 years and there is no trend over this recent stretch either." Details of Christy's research have been accepted for publication and released by the American Meteorological Society's Journal of Hydrometeorology.
This line of research was spurred by recent concerns that snow in the Sierra Nevada mountains had decreased in recent years, perhaps due to manmade climate change, Christy said. Those worries, however, were not supported by credible, long-term data.
A native of Fresno, Christy wondered if the snow he remembered covering the Sierra Nevada's peaks is actually disappearing. His preliminary investigation found a potentially useful set of data: Records of snow measurements at stations along the Southern Pacific Railroad.
"They took great care to measure snowfall because they had to know how much snow fell before sending trains through the mountain passes," Christy said. "No one else had looked at this data in detail. The records are pretty thorough and the measuring tools — a device resembling a tall, sturdy yardstick — are easy to use and obviously don't need power, so there aren't many gaps in the record."
There was, however, one catch: "They were good at measuring snow but the data they collected in written records had never been keyed in into a computer dataset. Before I could do the analysis I had to manually input 100,000 station-months of data."
The railroad data was coupled with data from other sources, including hydro-power and regional water systems vitally interested in knowing how much water would be available from snow melt. Other data was collected from logging and mining companies, as well as National Weather Service stations and volunteers.
That data had already been digitized by the National Climatic Data Center. Christy divided the state into 18 regions, based on the amount of snow that falls and on the quality of the records for that region. "There are six or seven regions with good, robust data going back to the late 1800s," he said.
"In each of those there are five to 15 stations with good records." Global warming theory says rising temperatures might reduce snowfall in some areas, while snow might increase in others. That sounds counterintuitive, but it does make sense: At lower, warmer elevations rising temperatures raise the altitude of the snow line, potentially reducing snow fall at lower elevations.
Warmer air also can hold more water vapor than cold air, so rising temperatures should increase the amount of water vapor available for snow and other precipitation. In high elevation mountain regions where winter temperatures would be below freezing even if they rise two or three degrees, snow would still fall.
Those still-cold temperatures combined with the extra water vapor suspended in the warmer air could increase snowfall at higher altitudes. That's the theory. Looking at both the 130-year record and the most recent 50-year record — which includes the 1975 to 2000 period when global temperatures rose — the California data show no long-term changes in snowfall in any region.
"California has huge year-to-year variations and that's expected to continue," said Christy, a graduate of Fresno State University. "California is having a snow drought so far this winter, while last year the state had much heavier than normal snowfall. But over the long term, there just isn't a trend up or down.
Not to be a scaremonger, but if you go back and look at the paleoclimate reconstructions for the past thousand years, there have been some colossal droughts lasting 50 years or more. Those have not been around since the 1400s, although nothing we know about climate science says they can't come back — global warming or not." In earlier research, Christy also showed no long-term warming in the Sierra Nevada mountains.
Interesting3: A published report says the amount of ice covering the Great Lakes has declined about 71 percent over the past 40 years, a drop that the lead author partly attributes to climate change. The report published last month by the American Meteorological Society said only about 5 percent of the Great Lakes surface froze over this year.
"There was a significant downward trend in ice coverage from 1973 to the present for all of the lakes," according to the study, which appeared in the society's Journal of Climate. Researchers determined ice coverage by scanning U.S. Coast Guard reports and satellite images taken from 1973 to 2010, the Duluth News Tribune reported.
They found that ice coverage was down 88 percent on Lake Ontario and fell 79 percent on Lake Superior. However, the ice in Lake St. Clair, which is between Lakes Erie and Huron, diminished just 37 percent. The study's lead researcher is Jia Wang of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration lab in Ann Arbor, Mich.
He attributed the decline to several factors, including broad climate change and smaller cyclical climate patterns like El Nino and La Nina. He told WBEZ-FM in Chicago that diminished ice can accelerate wintertime evaporation, causing water levels to fall.
The lack of ice could also lead to earlier and increased algae blooms that can damage water quality, and could speed up erosion by exposing more shoreline to waves. The study doesn't include the current winter, but satellite photos show that only about 5 percent of the Great Lakes surface froze over this winter.
That's a steep drop from years such as 1979, when there was as much as 94 percent ice coverage. On average, about 40 percent of the surfaces freeze over. The results are consistent with other studies that have found higher surface water temperatures on Lake Superior in recent years.
Even Lake Superior's protected Chequamegon Bay, just north of Ashland, Wis., has been remarkably free of ice. It usually freezes enough for trucks to drive on it, but the ice was never thick enough. That forced the local Madeline Island ferry to operate all season, which has only happened once before.