Air Temperatures – The following maximum temperatures were recorded across the state of Hawaii Sunday:
Lihue, Kauai – 78
Honolulu airport, Oahu – 81
Kaneohe, Oahu – 78
Molokai airport – 77
Kahului airport, Maui – 82 (Record high temperature for Sunday – 90 / 1953)
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 Sunday evening:
Barking Sands, Kauai – 82
Honolulu, Oahu – 72
Haleakala Crater – 50 (near 10,000 feet on Maui)
Mauna Kea – 37 (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.
Trades increasing into Monday…windward showers
at times with a weak front…easing up Monday –
lighter winds, voggy, and afternoon showers
Thursday through next Saturday…followed
by trade winds again later next weekend
Today is Earth Day
As this weather map shows, we have a high pressure system to the north-northeast of Hawaii. At the same time, we have a weakening frontal boundary moving down through the islands…pushing southward. Our trade winds will remain strong and gusty Monday…gradually easing up Tuesday.
The following numbers represent the most recent wind gusts (mph), along with directions as of Sunday evening:
17 Lihue, Kauai – NE
23 Kaneohe, Oahu – NE
23 Molokai – NNE
36 Kahoolawe – NE
36 Kapalua, Maui – NE
18 Lanai – NE
32 Puu Mali, Big Island – NE
We can use the following links to see what’s going on in our area of the north central Pacific Ocean. Here's the latest NOAA satellite picture – the latest looping satellite image…and finally the latest looping radar image for the Hawaiian Islands.
Here are the latest 24-hour precipitation totals (inches) for each of the islands as of Sunday evening:
4.03 Kilohana, Kauai
2.16 Oahu Forest NWR, Oahu
0.45 Puu Kukui, Maui
0.23 Kealakekua, Big Island
Sunset Commentary: A moderately strong high pressure system to the north of the state, will continue to slowly move eastward Monday into mid-week. This high pressure cell will keep our trade winds active, although gradually slowing down some as the high pressure cell shifts eastward. At the same time, we find a weakening front moving slowly down through the state from the north. It's bringing an increase in windward showers, although mostly to the windward sides…although elsewhere locally. The trade winds will increase a notch in the wake of the frontal passage, although the showers will gradually back off Monday and Tuesday.
As we move into the middle of the new week things will change, with the trade winds down shifting in strength by Thursday. As a matter of fact, the winds will veer around to the southeast, bringing muggy and voggy weather our way…along with afternoon interior showers locally. The mornings should be clear with slightly cooler than normal air temperatures. Finally, our weather will return to near normal, with trade winds rebounding again next weekend into early the following week.
This last Thursday evening I went to see a new film called Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, starring Amr Waked, Emily Blunt, and Ewan McGregor…among many others. The snapshot of this salmon fishing film is: when Britain's leading fisheries expert (Ewan McGregor) is approached by a consultant (Emily Blunt) to help realize a sheikh's (Amr Waked) vision of bringing the sport of fly-fishing to the desert, he immediately thinks the project is both absurd and unachievable. But when the Prime Minister's overzealous press secretary (Kristin Scott Thomas) latches on to it as a "good will" story, this unlikely team will put it all on the line and embark on an upstream journey of faith and fish to prove the impossible, possible. The rotten tomatoes film review site is giving this film a 70-75 grade out of 100, which is pretty good. As it turned out, I enjoyed this film, and feel comfortable giving it a B grade. The story was rather far fetched, although I enjoyed the creative license the director and producer took. The main focus, besides the salmon, was the developing relationship between McGregor and Blunt, which was endearing. I liked the story, and found it to be fun to watch. Here's a trailer for this film if you're interested in taking a peek.
Being a film buff, I went down to Kahului again Friday evening for yet another film, this one called The Hunger Games, starring Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson…among many others. Here's the synopsis: every year in the ruins of what was once North America, the evil Capitol of the nation of Panem forces each of its twelve districts to send a teenage boy and girl to compete in the Hunger Games. A twisted punishment for a past uprising and an ongoing government intimidation tactic, The Hunger Games are a nationally televised event in which "Tributes" must fight with one another until one survivor remains. Pitted against highly-trained Tributes who have prepared for these Games their entire lives, Katniss is forced to rely upon her sharp instincts as well as the mentorship of drunken former victor Haymitch Abernathy. If she's ever to return home to District 12, Katniss must make impossible choices in the arena that weigh survival against humanity and life against love. Rotten tomatoes is giving this film a pretty good 84-85 rating out of 100. Despite many negative reviews on this film, I ended up liking it quite a bit, and am more than willing to give it a B grade. The low spot in the film was when they had some weird big dog like animals chasing the hero's, which was a bit too strange for me. Otherwise, and once again, it turned out to be a good story, very entertaining, and by the way…the theater was packed. Here's the trailer for this film.
Here in Kula, Maui at 530pm, skies were partly cloudy, with light breezes, and an air temperature of 68.7F degrees. I can see lots of low clouds stretched out along the windward side of east Maui, although those clouds hadn't reached here yet. This looping radar image shows the rainfall associated with the weakening cold front as it continues its slow journey southward towards the Big Island. The bulk of the showers, at least so far, have fallen over Kauai and Oahu at the time of this writing. Kilohana, Kauai picked up 4.03" of rain with its passage, while the Koolau Mountains on Oahu picked 2.16" so far today.
As I was mentioning above, this frontal cloud band will bring localized showers to the state tonight into Monday, although conditions will improve gradually Monday into Tuesday. The main thing, besides those showers, will be the gusty trade winds, which will top 30 mph in many areas. As the high pressure system to our north moves eastward, our wind speeds will slow down over the next several days, although remain active. Winds will tumble in strength during the second half of the upcoming new work week, ushering in a convective weather pattern. This will include generally clear cool mornings, giving way to locally cloudy afternoons, with at least some interior showers. We may see some volcanic haze arriving on the southeast wind flow Thursday into Saturday too. This vog and haze will be ventilated away later next weekend by the returning trade winds, into early the following week. ~~~ I'll be back early Monday morning with your next new weather narrative from paradise, I hope you have a good Sunday night until then! Aloha for now…Glenn.
Interesting: For the last 40 years, Earth Day has been celebrated around the world to call attention to some of our most pressing environmental and social problems, including climate change, biodiversity loss, and dwindling natural resources. This year, the Worldwatch Institute’s Nourishing the Planet highlights 15 agricultural innovations that are already working on the ground to address some of those problems.
“Agriculture provides food for all of us and income for more than 1 billion people around the world,” said Danielle Nierenberg, director of Worldwatch’s Nourishing the Planet project. “Relatively simple innovations to reduce the amount of food we waste, or to help the urban poor become more self-sufficient, can help agriculture feed the world without destroying the planet. The progress we have witnessed in these areas over the last year is definitely encouraging.”
The 15 innovations are used by farmers, scientists, activists, politicians, and businesses and promote a healthier environment and a more food-secure future.
1. Guaranteeing the Right to Food. Some 1 billion people worldwide experience chronic hunger, and 98 percent of these people live in developing countries. To combat hunger in rural or remote communities, the Brazilian government operates the Food Acquisition Program, which funds local organizations, including community kitchens, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and schools, to buy and distribute fruits, vegetables, and animal products from smallholder farmers in their region.
2. Harnessing the Nutritional and Economic Potential of Vegetables. Micronutrient deficiencies, including lack of vitamin A, iodine, and iron, affect 1 billion people worldwide and stem partly from a lack of variety in people’s diets. Slow Food International works to broaden diets, and preserve biodiversity, by helping farmers grow local and indigenous varieties of fruits and vegetables, organizing cooking workshops, and helping producers get access to traditional seeds.
3. Reducing Food Waste. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that roughly a third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally, which amounts to about 1.3 billion tons per year. In New York City, City Harvest collects nearly 28 million pounds of excess food each year from restaurants, grocers, corporate cafeterias, manufacturers, and farms and delivers it to some 600 local food programs.
4. Feeding Cities. Poor urban households spend from 60 to 80 percent of their income on food, putting them at risk of hunger or malnutrition when food prices rise or their incomes fall. The French non-governmental organization Solidarités has provided women in Kibera, an urban slum in Nairobi, Kenya, with training, seeds, and sacks to grow vegetables in “vertical farms,” a space-efficient way to increase food security in cities.
5. Getting More Crop per Drop. Millions of farmers, including the majority of farmers in sub-Saharan Africa, depend on rainfall to water their crops—which climate scientists predict will decline in coming decades. The company International Development Enterprises sells simple and inexpensive irrigation systems to farmers in Zambia, India, and other countries. Their systems include a treadle pump that draws water from underground without the use of fossil fuels, and a drip irrigation kit that costs just US$5 can efficiently water 20 square meters.
6. Using Farmers’ Knowledge in Research and Development. Many agricultural research and development programs exclude smallholder farmers. But in Kenya, the Muyafwa Development Program, with help from the U.S.-based nonprofit World Neighbors, involves local farmers in comparing a newly introduced sweet potato variety with the existing indigenous one—ensuring detailed and accurate feedback on the productivity, taste, storability, and hardiness of each variety.
7. Improving Soil Fertility. Each year, more than 29 million acres, or enough land to grow 20 million tons of grain, turn into deserts. To combat desertification and land degradation, the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics is training farmers in Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger to apply small and targeted quantities of fertilizer to crops at planting time or soon after. This has increased yields of the staple crops sorghum and millet by between 44 and 120 percent.
8. Safeguarding Local Food Biodiversity. According to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, a quarter of the world’s known plant species—some 60,000 to 100,000 species—are threatened with extinction, while soy, wheat, and maize become more and more prevalent in people’s everyday diets. In Norway, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault protects thousands of seed varieties that farmers in developing countries can use to help re-harvest crops that have been affected by disease, climate,or conflict.
9. Coping with Climate Change and Building Resilience. Global climate change will negatively affect agriculture by reducing soil fertility and decreasing crop yields. In preparation for these impacts, and in response to the land degradation that has already occurred, farmers in Niger have planted nearly 5 million hectares of trees that conserve water, prevent soil erosion, and sequester carbon, making their farms more productive and drought-resistant without the use of chemicals.
10. Harnessing the Knowledge and Skills of Women Farmers. Women farmers face a variety of obstacles, including a lack of access to information technology, agricultural training, financial services, and support networks like co-operatives or trade unions.The Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), a female trade union in India that began in 1992, helps poor, self-employed women achieve full employment and self-reliance by linking them to markets, banks, co-operatives, and self-help groups.
11. Investing in Africa’s Land. Governments and private investors are acquiring large swathes of agricultural land around the world at very low or no cost, particularly in Africa and Asia—often displacing indigenous peoples. In Ethiopia’s Rift Valley, African farmers and foreign investing companies have reached a compromise: farmers grow green beans for the Dutch market during the European winter months, but cultivate corn and other crops for local consumption during the remaining months.
12. Charting a New Path to Eliminating Hunger. Reactive measures to famines and natural disasters, including sending shipments of vitamin-fortified, pre-packaged food, too often replace preventative measures like investing in sustainable agricultural systems or building infrastructure to transport food to remote communities in developing countries. The UN World Food Programme has developed the Purchase for Progress program, which buys fresh produce directly from local farmers and distributes it as food aid both within the farmers’ country and abroad.
13. Improving Food Production from Livestock. The FAO estimates that 21 percent of the world’s livestock breeds are at risk of extinction. But in India, farmers in the state of Andhra Pradesh are improving the quality of their feed by using grass, sorghum, stover, and brans to produce more milk from fewer animals, demonstrating that animal husbandry can provide an income without harming the environment.
14. Going beyond Production. Although scarcity and famine dominate the discussion of food security in developing countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, many countries are unequipped to deal with the crop surpluses that lead to low commodity prices and food waste. In Uganda, the organization TechnoServe has helped to improve market conditions for banana farmers by forming business groups through which they can buy inputs, receive technical advice, and sell their crops collectively.
15. Moving Ecoagriculture into the Mainstream. Agricultural practices that emphasize increased production have contributed to the degradation of land, soil, wildlife, and local ecosystems, and ultimately hurt the livelihoods of the farmers who depend on these natural resources. Ranchers and farmers in Dimbangombe, in western Zimbabwe, have committed 20,000 acres of degraded grassland to be communally owned, grazed, and maintained, with the aim of restoring the area’s plants and wildlife while sustainably raising livestock on the land. These and other efforts to make agriculture a healthy and stable source of income and nourishment will need to continue to be scaled up in the coming years and be passed on to the next generation to ensure that the march toward sustainability continues.