Air Temperatures – The following maximum temperatures (F) were recorded across the state of Hawaii Sunday:
75 Lihue, Kauai
76 Honolulu, Oahu
82 Kahului, Maui
83 Kona, Hawaii
80 Hilo, Hawaii
Air Temperatures ranged between these warmest and coolest spots near sea level – and on the highest mountain tops on Maui and the Big Island…as of 743pm Sunday evening:
Kailua Kona – 78
Poipu, Kauai – 68
Haleakala Summit – 41 (near 10,000 feet on Maui)
Mauna Kea Summit – 28 (13,000+ 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 – if it’s working.
Variable winds, mostly light…although locally gusty
Light showers over parts of Maui County…a few elsewhere
The following numbers represent the most recent top wind gusts (mph), along with directions as of Sunday evening:
09 Makaha Ridge, Kauai – SW
15 Kii, Oahu – SE
18 Molokai – SE
16 Lanai – SE
14 Kahoolawe – NE
17 Lipoa, Maui – NE
18 PTA Range 17, Big Island – NE
Here are the latest 24-hour precipitation totals (inches) for each of the islands as of Sunday evening:
5.42 Makaha Ridge, Kauai
4.20 Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, Oahu
0.31 Kaupo Gap, Maui
0.19 Pahala, 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 Narrative ~~~
The winds will come in from variable directions, generally on the light side…then returning trade winds Tuesday. Here’s the latest weather map, showing the Hawaiian Islands, and the rest of the Pacific Ocean. We find a near 1033 millibar high pressure system far to the northeast of the state…with its associated ridge extending southwest offshore to the northeast of the central islands. At the same time we see a low pressure system to our north, with an associated cold front/trough near the western islands. Our winds are coming in from several directions, depending upon location, which will continue Monday. High pressure will build to our north and northeast by Tuesday, with moderately strong trade winds continuing through most of the upcoming week.
This quickly weakening frontal system, after having brought heavy showers to the western islands…is now falling apart. Satellite imagery shows most of the front’s associated clouds now over and around Oahu, Maui County and the Big Island. Here’s the looping radar image, showing most of the showers from the weakening cold front, over Maui County at the time of this writing. There are also some showers to the southeast and south of the Big Island. The cold front is losing strength quickly, as the heavy rains it dropped over Kauai and Oahu, have now ended. Monday will be a transition day, as the front dissipates over the central islands. The models are bringing the trade winds back Tuesday, and likely a return of windward biased showers then as well. Those returning trades, later in the new week ahead, may bring generous rains to our windward sides of the islands. I’ll be back early Monday morning with your next new weather narrative, I hope you have a great Sunday night wherever you’re spending it! Aloha for now…Glenn.
Friday evening film: There are so many good films that come out during the holidays! The one I went to see this time is called Out of the Furnace, starring Christian Bale, Zoe Saldana, Woody Harrelson, Casey Affleck, Sam Shepard, and Forest Whitaker, and Willem Dafoe…among many others. The synopsis: From Scott Cooper, the critically-acclaimed writer and director of Crazy Heart, comes a gripping and gritty drama about family, fate, circumstance, and justice. Russell Baze (Christian Bale) has a rough life: he works a dead-end blue collar job at the local steel mill by day, and cares for his terminally ill father by night. When Russell’s brother Rodney (Casey Affleck) returns home from serving time in Iraq, he gets lured into one of the most ruthless crime rings in the Northeast and mysteriously disappears. The police fail to crack the case, so – with nothing left to lose – Russell takes matters into his own hands, putting his life on the line to seek justice for his brother. ~~~ I was a bit nervous about seeing the film, as the trailer made it look very rough. I typically would see these types of film with someone, or a few other friends, although this time…I was on my own. As I may have told you before, I’m not above closing my eyes briefly, during those particularly intense sections. ~~~ Well, I did in fact have to close my eyes several times, I think about three times as I recall. It was such an intense film, and the casting was terrific, just outstanding performances. I’m glad I saw this film, but it was so brutal in parts, with lots of fighting scenes. It was definitely a downer, no doubt about it, from the front end right to the last frame of this two hour film. I don’t feel like raving about it, and wouldn’t suggest that any of you go see it, although with that said, I’m going to give it a B+ grade. I’m not going to be providing the trailer, you’ll have to get that for yourself I’m afraid!
World-wide tropical cyclone activity:
Atlantic Ocean: The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1st through November 30th…and has now ended
Here’s a satellite image of the Atlantic Ocean
Gulf of Mexico:
Here’s a satellite image of the Caribbean Sea…and the Gulf of Mexico.
Here’s the link to the National Hurricane Center (NHC)
Eastern Pacific: The Eastern Pacific hurricane season runs from May 15th through November 30th…and has now ended. Here’s the 2013 hurricane season summary
Here’s a wide satellite image that covers the entire area between Mexico, out through the central Pacific…to the International Dateline.
Central Pacific Ocean: The Central Pacific hurricane season runs from June 1st through November 30th…and has now ended. Here’s the 2013 hurricane season summary
Here’s a link to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center (CPHC)
Western Pacific Ocean: There are no active tropical cyclones
South Pacific Ocean: There are no active tropical cyclones
North and South Indian Oceans: There are no active tropical cyclones
Here’s a link to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC)
Interesting: NASA dating rocks on Mars – How old is Mars? The relative ages of Mars and Earth is of great interest to astronomers. Did the planets in our solar system originate at the same time, or did they form at different times?
Although researchers have determined the ages of rocks from other planetary bodies, the actual experiments—like analyzing meteorites and moon rocks—have always been done on Earth. Now, for the first time, researchers have successfully determined the age of a Martian rock—with experiments performed on Mars. The work, led by geochemist Ken Farley of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), could not only help in understanding the geologic history of Mars but also aid in the search for evidence of ancient life on the planet.
Many of the experiments carried out by the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission’s Curiosity rover were painstakingly planned by NASA scientists more than a decade ago. However, shortly before the rover left Earth in 2011, NASA’s participating scientist program asked researchers from all over the world to submit new ideas for experiments that could be performed with the MSL’s already-designed instruments. Farley, W.M. Keck Foundation Professor of Geochemistry and one of the 29 selected participating scientists, submitted a proposal that outlined a set of techniques similar to those already used for dating rocks on Earth, to determine the age of rocks on Mars. Findings from the first such experiment on the Red Planet—published by Farley and coworkers this week in a collection of Curiosity papers in the journal Science Express—provide the first age determinations performed on another planet.
The paper is one of six appearing in the journal that reports results from the analysis of data and observations obtained during Curiosity’s exploration at Yellowknife Bay—an expanse of bare bedrock in Gale Crater about 500 meters from the rover’s landing site. The smooth floor of Yellowknife Bay is made up of a fine-grained sedimentary rock, or mudstone, that researchers think was deposited on the bed of an ancient Martian lake.
In March, Curiosity drilled holes into the mudstone and collected powdered rock samples from two locations about three meters apart. Once the rock samples were drilled, Curiosity’s robotic arm delivered the rock powder to the Sample Analysis on Mars (SAM) instrument, where it was used for a variety of chemical analyses, including the geochronology—or rock dating—techniques.
One technique, potassium-argon dating, determines the age of a rock sample by measuring how much argon gas it contains. Over time, atoms of the radioactive form of potassium—an isotope called potassium-40—will decay within a rock to spontaneously form stable atoms of argon-40. This decay occurs at a known rate, so by determining the amount of argon-40 in a sample, researchers can calculate the sample’s age.
Although the potassium-argon method has been used to date rocks on Earth for many decades, these types of measurements require sophisticated lab equipment that could not easily be transported and used on another planet. Farley had the idea of performing the experiment on Mars using the SAM instrument. There, the sample was heated to temperatures high enough that the gasses within the rock were released and could be analyzed by an onboard mass spectrometer.
Farley and his colleagues determined the age of the mudstone to be about 3.86 to 4.56 billion years old. “In one sense, this is an utterly unsurprising result—it’s the number that everybody expected,” Farley says.