Air Temperatures The following maximum temperatures were recorded across the state of Hawaii Sunday afternoon:

Lihue, Kauai –                       79  
Honolulu airport, Oahu –     83  
Molokai airport –                    80

Kahului airport, Maui –           81 

Kona airport     –                   81  

Hilo airport, Hawaii –              78

Air Temperatures ranged between these warmest and coolest spots near sea level – and on the highest mountain tops around the state…as of 530pm Sunday evening:

Barking Sands, Kauai - 80
Hana airport, Maui – 72

Haleakala Summit    M       (near 10,000 feet on Maui)

Mauna Kea Summit – 32      (near 13,800 feet on the Big Island)

Hawaii’s MountainsHere’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.

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.  The 2012 hurricane season is over in the eastern and central Pacific…resuming on May 15th and June 1st 2013.

 

Aloha Paragraphs

http://www.kauaigf.com/MYnews/data/upimages/Beach.jpg
 
 
Blustery trade winds…increasing a notch into Tuesday

Clear to partly cloudy, cloudy periods, passing
showers windward sides…some along the
leeward sides here and there too

Small craft wind advisory all marine zones

Gale warning Monday for Alenuihaha, Pailolo
and Kaiwi Channels…and Maalaea Bay

High surf advisory for east shores of all islands

Wind advisory for strong trade winds atop the
Haleakala summit on Maui – and other parts of the
smaller islands from Kauai to the Big Island

 

The following numbers represent the most recent top wind gusts (mph), along with directions as of Sunday evening:

31            Lihue, Kauai – NE
42            Kahuku Trng, Oahu – ESE 
36            Molokai – ENE    
48            Kahoolawe – NE  
39            Kahului, Maui – NE
35            Lanai – NE

40            South Point, Big Island – NE

Here are the latest 24-hour precipitation totals (inches) for each of the islands as of Sunday evening:

 

0.95          Mount Waialeale, Kauai
0.38          Manoa Lyon Arboretum, Oahu

0.70          Molokai

0.00          Kahoolawe

1.21          Puu Kukui, Maui
0.90          Pahoa, Big Island  


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 imageand finally the latest looping radar image for the Hawaiian Islands.


                                          ~~ Hawaii weather commentary ~~
 

Strong and gusty trade winds will continue to blow…perhaps even increasing a notch through Tuesday. We currently have high pressure systems (weather map), located to the north-northeast, and north-northwest of Hawaii this evening. We saw strong and gusty winds starting off our day again today. As has been the case during the last week, winds in gusts reached up above the 40 mph mark on many of the islands. This morning before sunrise, there were gusts up above 40 mph on Oahu, Kahoolawe, Maui, and the Big Island. During the afternoon hours, the winds accelerated to 48 mph at South Point on the Big Island.

A high pressure system will be strengthening to near 1038 millibars over the next few days…keeping the trade wind going in the process. This can be confirmed by checking out this forecast weather chart, with that stronger than normal high pressure cell anchored into the area directly north of our islands. A long lasting wind advisory remains in force over Haleakala summit here on Maui, and covers other parts of Maui County…and the Big Island.  This unseasonably strong spell of blustery trade winds, now looks like it will finally fade to some degree, during the second half of the new week. So, look for more windy to very windy weather circumstances holding on through at least the middle of the new week. This means more of those 40 to perhaps even a bit above 50 mph gusts, across our typically windiest places in the state.

As for precipitation, there will be some, primarily along our windward sides, and over the lower mountains on the smaller islands…with a few stretching over into the leeward sides at times too.  The current forecast shows an increase in showers for our windward sides generally in the Monday through Wednesday time frame. This will be the result of a remnant cold front or two bringing moisture into the state, on the gusty trade wind flow. There's a chance of some of those showers will turn out to be quite generous…especially in the Tuesday-Wednesday time frame. Here's a satellite image, showing quite a steady supply of low clouds upstream of our islands, heading towards our windward coasts and slopes. As the winds are so strong now, and will continue in that fashion, some of these showers will be able to travel over into the leeward sides at times too.

Tis the season: this past Thursday evening I attended the Pacific Disaster Center's Christmas holiday get together…my part time day job, where I've worked as their senior weather specialist for the last 17 years. Then Friday evening I had dinner with a friend in Kahului, and went to the see the film I wrote about below. Last evening I went to a friend's birthday party in Haiku, which turned out to be a great dance party. There was lots of nice food being served under a large tent, with a bunch of good folks attending. The bulk of the folks were teachers and friends from the Waldorf Haleakala School in Kula, Maui. It was a good thing there was a tent, as lots of passing showers were falling out there along the windward side of east Maui. I enjoyed being out in the social realms over the last several days, it was a good change of pace, for someone who spends quite a bit of time alone.

~~~ The more I read about the Connecticut shooting, the more my heart goes out to all of us…although especially to the victims, their immediate family and friends. We all feel this loss however, it's just so large, and touches us very deeply. It's incredibly difficult, particularly since it happened so close to an already emotional holiday…such as Christmas. Even more so, as there really isn't an answer to why, why would someone feel compelled to take these bright little children away. It's so sad when I look at the pictures of these kids, reading about how kind and sincere they were, and how much they will be missed! Aloha, Glenn.
 

Friday evening film:  I decided to see the new film called Lincoln, starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Gloria Reuben…among many many others. The synopsis: In a nation divided by war and the strong winds of change, Lincoln pursues a course of action designed to end the war, unite the country and abolish slavery. With the moral courage and fierce determination to succeed, his choices during this critical moment will change the fate of generations to come. This film has received good reviews from the critics, and is being billed as a drama, biopic, adaptation. ~~~ It was a long film, running 2 hours and 30 minutes. I found it be a bit slow during the first half, and then it picked up some thereafter. I must admit that I wasn't planning on seeing this film, and at the last minute decided to give it a chance. I'm glad I did see it, although it wasn't my favorite film of the year by any means. I appreciated the great acting, which was the best part for me.  As for a grade, I think it deserved a solid B, although short of a B+ in my opinion. It may just be that it wasn't my cup of tea in terms of films. At any rate, here's the trailerso you can take a peek yourself.

World-wide tropical cyclone activity:

Atlantic Ocean/Caribbean Sea:
  There are no active tropical cyclones

Gulf of Mexico: There are no active tropical cyclones

Eastern Pacific Ocean: There are no active tropical cyclones

Central Pacific Ocean:  There are no active tropical cyclones

Western Pacific Ocean:  There are no active tropical cyclones

South Pacific Ocean:  Tropical cyclone Evan (04P) remains active in the southwest Pacific Ocean…located approximately 15 NM southwest of Nadi, Fiji. Sustained winds are near 115 knots, with gusts to near 140 knots. Tropical cyclone Evan will be gradually losing strength from here on out. Here's the JTWC graphical track map, along with a satellite image. 

North and South Indian Oceans:  There are no active tropical cyclones

Interesting:   Some Amazon rainforest tree species are more than eight million years old found a genetic study published in the December 2012 edition of Ecology and Evolution. Christopher Dick of the University of Michigan and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), Simon Lewis of the University of Leeds, Mark Maslin of University College London, and Eldredge Bermingham of STRI analyzed the age of 12 widely distributed Amazon tree species. T

hey found that nine of the species emerged prior to the Pliocene Epoch some 2.6 million years ago, seven dated to the Miocene Epoch (5.6 million years ago), and three were more than eight million years old. The findings indicate that many Amazon tree species have survived warm periods in the past and are therefore likely to survive climate change projected for the year 2100.

Air temperatures in the Amazon during the early Pliocene were similar to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projections for the region in 2100 under a moderate carbon emissions scenario, while temperatures in the late Miocene (5.3-11.5 million years ago) are roughly what the IPCC forecasts under a highest carbon emissions scenario.

The study seems to be at odds with other research suggesting that many Amazon trees would face extinction from higher temperatures alone. For example a 2008 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) projected up to 50 percent of "rare" species across the Amazon could disappear.

However the authors caution that the results do not indicate that Amazon trees are out of the woods yet — other environmental and ecological changes still leave the region highly vulnerable. "The past cannot be compared directly with the future.

While tree species seem likely to tolerate higher air temperatures than today, the Amazon forest is being converted for agriculture and mining, and what remains is being degraded by logging, and increasingly fragmented by fields and roads," said Lewis in a statement. "

Species will not move as freely in today's Amazon as they did in previous warm periods, when there was no human influence. Similarly, today's climate change is extremely fast, making comparisons with slower changes in the past difficult." The authors therefore suggest conservation policies focused on preventing deforestation.

They also recommend cuts to global greenhouse gas emissions. "With a clearer understanding of the relative risks to the Amazon forest, we conclude that direct human impacts – such as forest clearances for agriculture or mining – should remain a focus of conservation policy," said Lewis.

"We also need more aggressive action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to minimize the risk of drought and fire impacts to secure the future of most Amazon tree species."

The Amazon is Earth's largest rainforest. Nearly two-thirds of the Amazon lies within the borders of Brazil, which has made great progress in reducing deforestation since 2004. However deforestation in Amazon countries outside Brazil is holding relatively steady.