Air Temperatures – The following maximum temperatures were recorded across the state of Hawaii Friday afternoon:
Lihue, Kauai – 83
Honolulu airport, Oahu – 85
Molokai airport – 87
Kahului airport, Maui – 89
Kona airport – 84
Hilo airport, Hawaii – 84
Air Temperatures ranged between these warmest and coolest spots near sea level – and on the highest mountain tops around the state…as of 930pm Friday evening:
Kailua-kona – 79
Hilo, Hawaii – 72
Haleakala Summit – 48 (near 10,000 feet on Maui)
Mauna Kea Summit – 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 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.
Strengthening trades this weekend…
showers at times, increasing on the
windward sides Saturday night-Sunday
Rising northwest swell this weekend…high surf
advisory north and west shores Sunday-Monday
This is the last night of summer 2012
As this weather map shows, we have a near 1024 millibar high pressure system located to the northeast of the islands. At the same time, we find an early season cold front to the north and northwest of the islands, which has pushed a high pressure ridge closer to us. Our local winds will become stronger trade winds Saturday…with even stronger trade winds by Sunday into Monday.
The following numbers represent the most recent top wind gusts (mph), along with directions as of Friday evening:
18 Port Allen, Kauai – SE
27 Kahuku Trng, Oahu – ESE
25 Molokai – ENE
31 Kahoolawe – ENE
14 Kaupo Gap, Maui – SSW
31 Lanai – SW
30 PTA West, Big Island – NNE
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 evening:
0.34 Kapahi, Kauai
0.36 Poamoho RG 1, Oahu
0.41 Kepuni, Maui
0.52 Kealakekua, Big Island
~~ Hawaii Sunset Commentary ~~
Our local winds remained quite light today…although will be gradually increasing through the weekend. We find a near 1026 millibar high pressure system (weather map), located to the northeast of the islands Friday evening. As the associated high pressure ridge from this high will be moving northward soon, our winds will gradually be increasing in strength. The overlying atmosphere has become more stable today, as a surface trough of low pressure moves away from state to the west. There will continue to be some showers around, although fewer into Saturday…although then increasing again along our windward sides later in the day into Sunday.
As we look at this satellite image, it shows a bare minimum amount of low level clouds over the state…and most of those over the mountains. At the same time, there's high level cirrus clouds to the southwest, south and southeast of the state. We see a couple of pretty good looking areas of clouds to our east, which will bring at least some shower activity to the state's windward sides tonight. Then, looking even further east, we see another showery looking area of clouds coming this way too. This area is loosely what is left of a retired tropical cyclone called Lane, which was active in the eastern Pacific earlier this week. It will likely arrive Saturday evening, and bring another increase in showers to our windward sides into Sunday.
Friday evening film: this time around I'll be taking the drive down to Kahului to see a new dramatic film called Arbitrage, starring Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, Brit Marling, Tim Roth, Laetitia Casta, and Nate Parker…among many others. The synopsis: when we first meet New York hedge-fund magnate Robert Miller on the eve of his 60th birthday, he appears the very portrait of success in American business and family life. But behind the gilded walls of his mansion, Miller is in over his head, desperately trying to complete the sale of his trading empire to a major bank before the depths of his fraud are revealed. Struggling to conceal his duplicity from loyal wife Ellen and brilliant daughter and heir-apparent Brooke, Miller's also balancing an affair with French art-dealer Julie Cote. Just as he's about to unload his troubled empire, an unexpected bloody error forces him to juggle family, business, and crime with the aid of Jimmy Grant, a face from Miller's past. One wrong turn ignites the suspicions of NYPD Detective Michael Bryer, who will stop at nothing in his pursuits. Running on borrowed time, Miller is forced to confront the limits of even his own moral duplicity. Will he make it out before the bubble bursts? ~~~ I've always like Richard Gere and Susan Sarandon, and the critics are being kind to it for the most part, so I'll take it in. It's being called a drama thriller, which is ok with me, as many of you know. I'll be sure to let you know my thoughts Saturday morning, until then…here's the trailer for your viewing pleasure.
Here in Kula, Maui at 525pm Friday evening, it was partly cloudy overhead, and still a little voggy too…with an air temperature of 75.7F degrees. The winds remained lighter than usual again today, although have already begun to quicken their pace, with returning trade winds gusting to 30 mph in several locations this evening. As we push into the weekend, they will increase further, likely peaking out Sunday into Monday, and then begin to ease up again by the middle of the work week ahead. As mentioned above, we'll see some windward showers tonight, and then again Saturday night into Sunday as well. The Sunday showers will be the most pronounced of these two approaching areas. Saturday should be a nice day in most areas. I'll be back Saturday morning with your next new weather narrative from paradise, I hope you enjoy your Friday night wherever you happen to be spending it! Aloha for now…Glenn.
World-wide tropical cyclone activity:
Atlantic Ocean/Caribbean Sea: There are no active tropical cyclones
We find a tropical disturbance active about 250 miles east-northeast of Bermuda. It has a low 0% chance of developing into a tropical cyclone within the next 48 hours.
At the same time, we find a second tropical disturbance, located about 650 miles west-northwest of the Canary Islands…with a higher medium 40% chance of developing into a tropical depression. This area is what's left of retired tropical cyclone Nadine.
Here's a satellite image of these two areas in the Atlantic ocean.
Gulf of Mexico: There are no active tropical cyclones
Eastern Pacific Ocean: Tropical storm Miriam (13E) remains active in the eastern Pacific…located about 640 miles south-southeast of the southern tip of Baja California. Sustained winds are 40 mph, moving west-northwest at a slow 5 mph. The NHC forecast this tropical storm to become a hurricane within 36 hours. Here's the NHC graphical track map, and a satellite image of Miriam.
Central Pacific Ocean: There are no active tropical cyclones
Western Pacific Ocean: Tropical storm Jelawat (19W) is active in the Philippine Sea, located about 545 NM east-southeast of Manila. This storm currently has sustained winds of 55 knots, and is forecast by the JTWC to strengthen into a typhoon within 12 hours. Here's a graphical track map, along with a satellite image.
South Pacific Ocean: There are no active tropical cyclones
North and South Indian Oceans: There are no active tropical cyclones
Interesting: If there were an equivalent in the energy industry to Time Magazine's Person of the Year, natural gas would be this year's winner. The dramatic rise in natural gas supply, and fall in price, has reconfigured the energy scene in the United States, suddenly creating a bounty of domestic energy, driving down wholesale power prices and speeding retirement of polluting coal-fired plants.
Veteran energy insiders have told me in recent interviews that they never expected in their lifetime to see this kind of rapid market shift. So what does the natural gas bonanza mean to energy efficiency — another resource creating surprising changes in the electric grid? Typically, when energy gets cheap consumers stop thinking about efficiency.
But the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy sees a different scenario emerging this time, according to two reports released by the Washington, DC-based organization in September. First, it's important to note that energy efficiency is not just something done in the household or office.
It's managed on a large scale by utilities and grid planners and often now competes head-to-head with power plants as a means to keep the lights on. So when an area of the country needs more power, it might build a new gas-fired power plant, install wind turbines or solar, or some other kind of power generator.
Or it might inject more energy efficiency into the system by way of energy saving technologies, programs or incentives. Many factors go into deciding which will be selected, but price ranks high. And despite the fall in natural gas prices, energy efficiency remains the lowest cost resource on the electric grid — it's still cheaper to save energy then to build new power plants, according to the ACEEE white paper "Saving Money and Reducing Risk: How Energy Efficiency Enhances the Benefits of the Natural Gas Boom."
Natural gas and energy efficiency tend to be in competition with each other — because they are the cheapest resources —but the two also can foster each other, according to the white paper. Here’s why. Historically natural gas has been prone to sudden supply disruptions and price spikes. ACEEE quotes Jim Rogers, chairman, president and CEO of Duke Energy famously saying: “There are three things in life you can depend on: death, taxes and the volatility of natural gas markets.”
The sudden price spikes wreak economic havoc for homeowners who heat with natural gas, as well as manufacturers that use it in industrial processes, and utilities that generate electricity with it. But energy efficiency helps smooth the sudden peaks and valleys of natural gas pricing. Energy efficiency reduces demand for natural gas and therefore elongates its supply, says ACEEE. In fact, energy efficiency could reduce energy demand 42 to 59 percent by 2050, according to a separate ACEEE study.
That’s one way the marriage of natural gas and energy efficiency work. Another involves combined heat and power plants, which are highly efficient generating plants that recycle the waste heat created in power production for useful purposes. Also known as CHP, it is considered an under utilize resource in the US and is often championed by energy efficiency advocates. President Barack Obama recently set a goal to increase CHP use about 50 percent by 2020.
Low natural gas prices should help achieve this goal, since many CHP plants – more than half installed since 1990 – use natural gas as fuel. Cheap natural gas makes CHP more economical. ACEEE sees CHP plants as good replacement for the large number of coal-fired plants now retiring.
In fact, the organization says that CHP could replace all of the retiring plants at a highly competitive cost, about 6 cents/kWh. By comparison a new conventional power plant cost 6.9 cents/kWh to 11.3 cents/kWh. “Our report suggests that instead of investing in new centralized power plants, utilities should invest in new CHP plants to keep costs down for their customers and generate much cleaner electricity,” said Anna Chittum, the report’s lead author.
“Utilities around the country have expressed concern about the amount of coal-fired capacity they believe they will need to retire in the near future. Many are asking for substantial increases in customer rates to pay for new investments in traditional power plants when they could be investing in CHP instead.”