Air Temperatures – The following maximum temperatures were recorded across the state of Hawaii Friday:
Lihue, Kauai – 83
Honolulu airport, Oahu – 86 (Record high for Friday / 91 – 1980)
Kaneohe, Oahu – 82
Molokai airport – 84
Kahului airport, Maui – 85
Kona airport – 85
Hilo airport, Hawaii – 80
Air Temperatures ranged between these warmest and coolest spots near sea level – and on the highest mountain top around the state…as of 5pm Friday evening:
Barking Sands, Kauai – 84
Kapalua, Maui – 77
Mauna Kea – 45 (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 not always working correctly.
Tropical Cyclone activity in the eastern and central Pacific – Here’s the latest weather information coming out of the National Hurricane Center, covering the eastern north Pacific. You can find the latest tropical cyclone information for the central north Pacific (where Hawaii is located) by clicking on this link to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center. A satellite image, which shows the entire ocean area between Hawaii and the Mexican coast…can be found here. Here's a tropical cyclone tracking map for the eastern and central Pacific.
The trade winds will remain active,
increasing a notch later this weekend,
into the early part of next week…becoming
locally quite strong in the process
Just a few passing windward showers at
times, very few in our leeward sections
As this weather map shows, we have a large near 1031 millibar high pressure system to the north of the islands. At the same time, a ridge of high pressure extends southwest from this high pressure cell…which is located to the northwest of the Aloha state. Our local winds will remain active from the trade wind direction through Saturday…strengthening Sunday into next Monday.
The following numbers represent the most recent top wind gusts (mph), along with directions as of Friday evening:
25 Port Allen, Kauai – NE
36 Kuaokala, Oahu – NE
32 Molokai – ENE
32 Kahoolawe – E
36 Kahului – NE
36 Lanai – NE
36 PTA Keamuku, 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 Friday afternoon:
0.34 Mount Waialeale, Kauai
0.60 Kahuku trng area, Oahu
0.03 Puu Kukui, Maui
1.14 Kawainui Stream, Big Island
Sunset Commentary: Our trade winds will remain active, blowing in the moderately strong realms through Saturay. These common early summer trades will pick up a notch Sunday through Monday night into Tuesday…fading some by mid-week onwards. As for showers, there will continue to be some, although generally on the light side along the windward sides. These showers will generally remain away from the leeward sides now, and continue to do so through Saturday…for the most part at least. As we get into Sunday, our trade winds will surge a bit, and in the process bring an old cold front into our area from the northeast. This now retired frontal boundary will keep island skies off and on showery Sunday through most of next Monday…then moving west of the island chain thereafter.
Thursday evening I drove down to Kahului to see the new film called Prometheus, starring Noomi Rapace, Guy Pearce, Idris Elba, Charlize Theron, and Michael Fassbender…among many others. The synopsis: Ridley Scott, director of Alien and Blade Runner, returns to the genre he helped define. With Prometheus, he creates a groundbreaking mythology, in which a team of explorers discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, leading them on a thrilling journey to the darkest corners of the universe. There, they must fight a terrifying battle to save the future of the human race. ~~~ This is one that I've been looking forward to seeing for a while, and no, not just because I really like Noomi…or even Charlize! I do like both of them, although ever since I saw the trailer for this one, I've been getting excited about seeing it. It came out a couple of weeks ago, and I wanted to see it then, although I thought I'd let the crowds thin out a bit before taking it in. As it turned out I liked it very much, one of the best films I've seen in quite a while as a matter of fact. It was a long film, although it could have gone on longer, and I would have been happy. This film was a scary one, more so than I anticipated going in, although not too much to have me squirming in my seat…or averting my eyes. It had good acting and a great look, the combination of which really caught my eye. As far as a grade goes, I'm going to say A-…which had me completely engrossed from the very start to the very end of the film! Here's the rather intense trailer in case you're willing to take look. Oh by the way, this is not a light weight film, far from it!
Here in Kula, Maui at 5pm, it was partly cloudy, with light winds…and an air temperature of 78.6F degrees. As this satellite image shows, we have about an average amount of clouds upstream of the islands. These aren't expected to bring many showers overnight, although the usual few will arrive locally. As I was mentioning above, it's interesting to see an old cold front well offshore to the northeast of the islands. This showery cloud band is forecast to make its way down into our tropical latitudes Sunday into next Monday. Cold fronts are more of a winter and spring phenomenon around here, and something that we don't usually see during our relatively dry summer season. It should give us a second dose of showers, although likely less than what we saw just a couple of days ago. ~~~ A friend of mine who lives in Kihei has invited me to join her at a restaurant in Wailea this evening, which is right on the ocean! I'm looking forward to having some conversation, a glass or two of wine, and a good meal as well. She has mentioned that maybe we could sit out on the beach afterwards and listen to the waves breaking. I'll be back Saturday morning with your next new weather narrative from paradise, I hope you have a great Friday night wherever you're spending it! Aloha for now…Glenn.
[World-wide tropical cyclone activity:
Central Pacific Ocean: There are no active tropical cyclones expected through the next 48 hours.
Eastern Pacific Ocean: There are no active tropical cyclones expected through the next 48 hours.
Atlantic Ocean: There are no active tropical cyclones
SATELLITE IMAGERY AND SURFACE OBSERVATIONS INDICATE THAT THE CIRCULATION ASSOCIATED WITH THE LARGE SURFACE LOW PRESSURE AREA LOCATED ABOUT 100 MILES NORTH OF THE NORTHEASTERN TIP OF THE YUCATAN PENINSULA HAS CONTINUED TO BECOME BETTER DEFINED. SURFACE PRESSURES ARE STILL FALLING ACROSS THE AREA…AND SHOWER AND THUNDERSTORM ACTIVITY HAS BEEN STEADILY INCREASING OVER MUCH OF THE CENTRAL AND EASTERN GULF OF MEXICO TODAY.
ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO REMAIN CONDUCIVE FOR A TROPICAL DEPRESSION TO FORM DURING THE NEXT DAY OR SO AS THIS LARGE DISTURBANCE DRIFTS SLOWLY NORTHWARD. THIS SYSTEM HAS A HIGH CHANCE…80 PERCENT…OF BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS. INTERESTS ALONG THE UNITED STATES GULF COAST SHOULD MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF THIS DISTURBANCE THROUGH THE WEEKEND. HEAVY RAINS AND LOCALIZED FLOODING ARE POSSIBLE ACROSS THE YUCATAN PENINSULA…WESTERN CUBA…AND SOUTHERN FLORIDA THROUGH SATURDAY.
ELSEWHERE…TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.
Here is a graphical tropical weather outlook…showing this tropical disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico
Western Pacific Ocean: There are no active tropical cyclones
South Indian Ocean: There are no active tropical cyclones
Interesting: Dead zones are hypoxic (low-oxygen) areas in the world's oceans, the observed incidences of which have been increasing since oceanographers began noting them in the 1970s. These occur near inhabited coastlines, where aquatic life is most concentrated A team of NOAA-supported scientists is predicting that this year's Gulf of Mexico hypoxic zone could range from a low of approximately 1,197 square miles to as much as 6,213 square miles.
The wide range is the result of using two different forecast models. The forecast is based on Mississippi River nutrient inputs compiled annually by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The Gulf of Mexico dead zone is typically about 8,000 square miles and is located where the Mississippi River dumps high-nutrient runoff from its vast drainage basin, which includes the heart of U.S. agribusiness, the Midwest.
This is equivalent to a dead zone the size of New Jersey. The smaller dead zone forecast, covering an area slightly larger than the state of Rhode Island, comes from researchers from the University of Michigan. Their predicted size is based solely on the current year's spring nutrient inputs from the Mississippi River which are significantly lower than average due to drought conditions throughout much of the river watershed.
The larger dead zone forecast, the equivalent of an area the size of the state of Connecticut, is from Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium and Louisiana State University scientists. The Louisiana forecast model includes prior year's nutrient inputs which can remain in bottom sediments and be recycled the following year. Last year's flood, followed by this year's low flows, increased the influence of this "carryover effect" on the second model's prediction.
Hypoxia is caused by excessive nutrient pollution from human activities coupled with other factors that deplete the oxygen required to support most marine life in bottom and near-bottom water. During May 2012 stream-flow rates in the Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers were nearly half that of normal conditions.
This resulted in a decrease in the amount of nitrogen transported by the rivers into the Gulf. According to USGS estimates, 58,100 metric tons of nitrogen (in the form of nitrite plus nitrate) were transported in May 2012 by the Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers to the northern Gulf. The amount of nitrogen transported to the Gulf in May 2012 was 56 percent lower than average May nitrogen loads estimated in the last 33 years.
The two smallest recorded dead zones to date are in 2000 when it measured 1,696 square miles and a 15 square miles dead zone in 1988. Last year's dead zone measured 6,765 square miles. The largest hypoxic zone measured to date occurred in 2002 encompassing more than 8,400 square miles.
The actual size of the 2012 hypoxic zone will be released following a NOAA-supported monitoring survey led by the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium between July 27 and August 3. Collecting these data is an annual requirement of the Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Watershed Nutrient Task Force Action Plan.
Additional NOAA-supported surveys led by the National Marine Fisheries Service and Texas A&M University will also provide an indication of the progression of the dead zone during the year. The average of impacted waters over the past five years is approximately 6,000 square miles, much larger than the 1,900 square miles which is the target goal set by the Gulf of Mexico/Mississippi River Watershed Nutrient Task Force.
The hypoxic zone, that form each spring and summer off the coast of Louisiana and Texas, threaten valuable commercial and recreational Gulf fisheries. In 2009, the dockside value of commercial fisheries in the Gulf was $629 million. Nearly three million recreational fishers further contributed about $10 billion to the Gulf economy, taking 22 million fishing trips.
Other known notable dead zones in the United States include the northern Gulf of Mexico region, surrounding the outfall of the Mississippi River, and the coastal regions of the Pacific Northwest, and the Elizabeth River in Virginia Beach, all of which have been shown to be recurring events over the last several years.