Air Temperatures – The following maximum temperatures were recorded across the state of Hawaii Sunday afternoon:
Lihue, Kauai – 77
Honolulu airport, Oahu - 80
Molokai airport - 82
Kahului airport, Maui – 81
Kona airport – 81
Hilo airport, Hawaii - 79
Air Temperatures ranged between these warmest and coolest spots near sea level – and on the highest mountain tops around the state…as of 430pm Sunday afternoon:
Barking Sands, Kauai - 80
Hana airport, Maui – 75
Haleakala Summit – 52 (near 10,000 feet on Maui)
Mauna Kea Summit – 46 (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.
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.
Artist credit…Danny Braddix
Partly to mostly cloudy with a few showers, becoming
cloudy Monday and Tuesday…rain at times
locally by Christmas Day
East-southeast and southeast breezes, locally voggy…
turning more easterly over the next several days
Wind advisory for the summit of the Haleakala Crater, Maui
Good sunrise this morning…
The following numbers represent the most recent top wind gusts (mph), along with directions as of Sunday evening:
14 Port Allen, Kauai – SE
15 Waianae Valley, Oahu – SE
17 Molokai – ESE
28 Kahoolawe – ESE
18 Lipoa, Maui – ENE
M Lanai – NE
24 South Point, Big Island – NE
Here are the latest 24-hour precipitation totals (inches) for each of the islands as of Sunday afternoon:
0.70 Kapahi, Kauai
0.35 Punaluu Pump, Oahu
0.05 Puu Kukui, Maui
0.26 Glenwood, 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 image…and finally the latest looping radar image for the Hawaiian Islands.
~~~ Hawaii Weather Commentary ~~~
Our winds are finally tapering off…and will veer to the east-southeast and southeast. Here's a weather chart showing the north central Pacific, with a near 1024 millibar high pressure cell to our east-northeast. We also see a near 990 millibar low pressure system to the north, that will zip along to the northeast. There is a cold front and a trough of low pressure extending south and southwestward from the center of this low…to the northwest and west through southwest of our islands. Our local winds have become quite a bit lighter now, into Monday morning. The breezes will shift back to the easterly trade wind direction later Monday into Christmas Day.
Our weather today will be generally quite nice, although with the lighter winds…there will be afternoon clouds forming over and around the islands, with a few showers. Here's a satellite image, showing just a few patches of low clouds to the east of our islands this evening. Those clouds will bring a few showers to our southeast and eastern sides of the islands here and there. The overlying atmosphere remains quite stable at the moment, thus limiting showers. The leading edge of high cirrus clouds to our southwest and west, is now streaming over us, and will remain in our skies over the next several days. These high clouds won't bring rain, although will definitely filtering and dim our sunshine during the days. Now that we're into our winter season, and with all the higher and middle level clouds coming our way…we'll feel the coolness of the season. By the way, the low temperatures dipped all the way down to 58F degrees at the Kahului airport this morning. Here in upcountry Kula, I got down to 48 degrees…yesterday was 47, my coolest of winter morning so far.
It still looks quite certain that the Kauai and Oahu side of the island chain will receive showers later Christmas Eve into Christmas Day, with still a chance elsewhere…especially on Christmas Day. An area of deep tropical moisture to our west and southwest, associated with a trough of low pressure, will edge in just close enough to the western islands, as it migrates northward, to provide some precipitation Christmas Eve into the night. At very least, Monday and Tuesday will be mostly cloudy, giving a gray overcast, gloomy look to our skies. This satellite image, shows this extensive area of bright white clouds to the southwest through northwest of the state. This is the stuff that will edge eastward, cutting off our famous Hawaiian sunshine as it intrudes into our area for a few days.
As we get into Christmas Day, an upper level trough of low pressure will shift over the state…with a better chance of triggering more widespread showers. Thereafter, we'll see the trade winds arriving back into our, ushering in fairly typical early winter trade wind weather conditions through Thursday. Looking even further ahead, it looks like a cold front will approach the state Friday into next weekend, which will probably veer our winds around to the southeast again then. The models aren't making too big a deal about next weekend's cold front…time will tell. ~~~ I've been invited to a friends house in Piiholo, which is more or less up above Makawao Town…on the windward side of east Maui. He has about 20 of his friends gathering for an early Christmas get together. Last year at this occasion, he served buffalo and elk, along with chicken, which was quite a unusual treat. I'm taking eight luscious cream puffs, which I bought at the health food store yesterday. They are large enough that I'll be able to cut them in half, as I'm pretty sure they will be a popular item when its time for dessert. I'll be back Monday morning with your next new weather narrative, I hope you have a great Sunday 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
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: There are no active tropical cyclones
North and South Indian Oceans: Tropical cyclone 04A remains active in the north Indian Ocean…located approximately 345 NM southeast of Cape Guardafui, Somalia. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) is showing 40 knot sustained winds, with gusts to near 50 knots. This cyclone will remain about this strength, and then begin weakening in about 36 hours over the open ocean. Here's a graphical track map, along with a satellite image of 04A.
Interesting: On a recent day when global doomsday predictions failed to pan out, NASA had more good news for the Earth: An asteroid feared to be on a collision course with our planet no longer poses a threat. Uncertainties about the orbit of the asteroid, known as 2011 AG5, previously allowed for a less than a 1% chance it would hit the Earth in February 2040, NASA said.
To narrow down the asteroid's future course, NASA put out a call for more observation. Astronomers from the University of Hawaii at Manoa took up the task and managed to observe the asteroid over several days in October. "An analysis of the new data conducted by NASA's Near-Earth Object Program Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, shows that the risk of collision in 2040 has been eliminated," NASA declared Friday.
The new observations, made with the Gemini 8-meter telescope in Mauna Kea, Hawaii, reduce the orbit uncertainties by more than a factor of 60. That means the Earth's position in February 2040 is not in range of the asteroid's possible future paths. The asteroid, which is 460 feet in diameter, will get no closer to Earth than 890,000 kilometers (553,000 miles), or more than twice the distance to the moon, NASA said.
A collision with Earth would have released about 100 megatons of energy, several thousand times more powerful than the atomic bombs that ended World War II, according to the Gemini Observatory. Observing the asteroid wasn't easy, said David Tholen, an astronomer at the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy.
The asteroid's position was very close to the sun, so astronomers had to observe it when the sky was dark. Tholen told CNN there was about a half-hour between when the asteroid got high enough in the sky for the telescope to point at it and before the sky became too light to observe it. Because the astronomers were looking at the asteroid low in the sky, they were viewing it through a lot of atmosphere, which scattered some of the light and made the object fainter, he said.
"The second effect is the turbulence of the atmosphere makes things fainter," Tholen said. "We had to keep trying over and over until we got one of those nights when the atmosphere was calm." Tholen and the team also discovered the asteroid is elongated, so that as it rotates, its brightness changes.
That was another challenge for the astronomers: Because they didn't know the asteroid's rotation period, they didn't know when it would wax and wane, and when it would grow too faint to see. "This object was changing its brightness by a factor of three or four — it was just enormously variable," Tholen said.
"It was hit and miss depending on which night you observed it." Many predicted the end of the world would come Friday, the day on which a long phase in the ancient Mayan calendar came to an end. Some believe the day actually comes Sunday. Modern-day Mayans say the end of the calendar phase doesn't mean the end of the world — just the end of an era, and the start of a new one.