Air Temperatures – The following maximum temperatures (F) were recorded across the state of Hawaii Wednesday:
75 Lihue, Kauai
80 Honolulu, Oahu
81 Kahului, Maui
82 Kailua Kona
79 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 510pm Wednesday evening:
Kailua Kona - 79
Lihue, Kauai - 72
Haleakala Summit – 41 (near 10,000 feet on Maui)
Mauna Kea Summit – 39 (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.
A cold front has moved over Kauai and Oahu, and now over
Maui County, and will reach down to the Big Island tonight -
there isn’t much rainfall involved…as shown on this looping
Cool and gusty northeast to northwest winds with and behind
the front…with lighter east to southeast winds arriving later
Thursday – becoming south to southwest Friday into Saturday
This latest weak cold front will bring more light showers to the
state into the night – then a stronger and more robust cold front
arrives during the weekend, bringing more showers…a few of
which will be locally heavy – rainfall may continue Monday on
the Big Island and perhaps Maui…with improvement over the
entire state for many days thereafter
High Wind Warning…Big Island summits – through today -
45-55 mph with gusts to 75 mph
Small Craft Wind Advisory…for the Alenuihaha Channel,
between Maui and the Big Island, and over the waters
southeast of the Big Island as well – until 6pm Thursday
The following numbers represent the most recent top wind gusts (mph), along with directions…as of Wednesday evening:
28 Lihue, Kauai – NNE
35 Waianae Valley, Oahu – NNE
24 Molokai – NW
33 Lanai – NW
27 Kahoolawe – NNE
25 Kahului Maui, Maui – NNW
21 South Point, Big Island – NE
Here are the latest 24-hour precipitation totals (inches) for each of the islands…as of Wednesday evening (545pm totals) :
.73 Kilohana, Kauai
.13 Punaluu Pump, Oahu
.02 Puu Kukui, Maui
.42 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 ~~~
Generally light to moderately strong breezes from the northwest to northeast…followed by stronger northeast breezes in the wake of a fast moving cold front tonight into Thursday morning. Here’s the latest weather map, showing the Hawaiian Islands, and the rest of the North Pacific Ocean. Here’s a real-time wind profile of the central Pacific…centered on the Hawaiian Islands. ~~~ We find low pressure systems far northwest, north and northeast of the state, with associated cold fronts trailing to the south..one of which is moving through the state from the north and northwest. Meanwhile, we see high pressure systems well offshore to the northwest and far to the east of the state. Winds will generally be light to moderately strong, from the northeast to northwest…keeping a cool edge in temperatures across our area. We’ll find briefly strengthening northeast winds into the night and Thursday morning, in the wake of a fast moving cold front. Winds will gradually weaken and warm up, as they veer to the east and southeast Thursday. This will be followed by muggy south to southwest winds Friday…ahead of the next stronger cold front during the weekend. Our winds will lighten up as we move into the first part of next week, likely from the cool north and northeasterly directions…gradually becoming trade winds.
Satellite imagery shows the current cold front moving through the state this evening. The leading edge of this cloud band has quickly moved over Kauai and Oahu, without much fanfare, and is moving over Maui County at a fast clip. The leading edge of this cold front arrived over Oahu early this afternoon, and then is quickly traveleing down through the rest of the state into this evening…bringing generally light showers with it. Here’s the looping radar image, showing the very minor shower activity along the cold front, along with an area of light to moderate showers offshore to the south and southeast of the Big Island. Looking at this larger satellite image, which is in the looping mode, we can see this frontal cloud band steadily moving down through the state, along with those brighter white, higher level clouds far to the south of the state.
This cold front today brought similar weather to what we saw yesterday, with improved weather expected for Thursday. Looking further ahead, the models are suggesting that yet another cold front will approach the state from the northwest later Friday into the weekend. Winds will turn east and southeast Thursday and south to southwest Friday into Saturday, before becoming rather light into the first part of next week. This stronger weekend frontal boundary will reach Kauai and Oahu first on Saturday, although pre-frontal showers will likely precede it. The front will then push down to Maui County later Saturday into the night, as it slows its pace…before finally bringing precipitation to the Big Island Sunday into Monday. Weather early next week should mellow-out quite a bit, with generally fair conditions along our leeward beaches, and some passing showers along our windward coasts and slopes. I don’t see anymore cold fronts, after this weekend’s event, out through March 6th, although stay tuned for any updates in this regard. I’ll be back early Thursday morning with your next new weather narrative, I hope you have a great Wednesday night wherever you’re spending it! Aloha for now…Glenn.
Here on Maui, at the 3,100 foot elevation, at my upper Kula, Maui weather tower, the air temperature was 50.7F degrees at 625am on this Wednesday morning. It’s just now getting slightly light outside, and I can see a mix of clear and cloudy skies. My weather deck is still soaking wet from the light rains and drizzle we had yesterday…with the eaves still dripping. This will be another interesting day, with the next fast moving cold front bearing down on the state. Folks, this is no ordinary winter season, as we all are finding out. I’ve got to do some work for the Pacific Disaster Center now, although will be back again quite soon, with more updates, and with more light, so I can see what’s happening here on Maui. It’s now 74oam, under partly cloudy skies, light northerly breezes, and a chilly 50.7 degrees. The clouds don’t seem showery, and thus, I’m heading out for my morning walk without rain gear. I just got back from my walk, and about half way through it, fog enveloped me. It’s now 9am, and its foggy at my place, with a cool 59.2 degree reading...although I can see sunshine down in the Central Valley.
~~~ We’re into the early afternoon now, at 1250pm, with mostly sunny weather, with partly cloudy conditions around the edges. As I noted above, this cold front has pushed across Kauai, and is barreling down towards Oahu at the time of this writing. Here on Maui, we’re finally enjoying a fairly warm day, although temperatures are still be limited by the slightly cool northerly breezes…as evidenced by the current 64 degree temperature I have here in Kula. I expect to see the leading edge of this cold front arrive here on Maui somewhere around sunset or so.
Speaking of sunset and such, I’m going to a Ballet performance this evening at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center in Wailuku. It’s the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, and here’s the writeup: Aspen Santa Fe Ballet’s bold vision – top global choreographers, distinctive groundbreaking works, and virtuoso dancers – has fostered a jewel of a dance company in the American West and beyond. For 16 years, the company has served as a prestigious incubator and showcase for choreographic invention, to both popular and critical acclaim. “Dynamic, virtuostic, endurance testing, full-throttle dancing and up-to-the-minute ballet choreography.” (Santa Fe New Mexican) With former Joffrey Ballet principal Tom Mossbrucker as artistic director, this vibrant company is known for “expressiveness, stylistic panache, and huge sense of fun.” (Dance Magazine) “Simply breathtaking,” says the Chicago Sun Times, and World Dance Review proclaims that “Aspen Santa Fe Ballet has become a must-see company.” Here’s a youtube dance video of this Company. I going to see this with my friend Dr. David Kern, neither of us has seen a ballet performance in a long time. I’ll let you know what we thought Thursday morning.
~~~ It’s now 525pm, with breezy north winds, mostly sunny skies, although still cool at 59.9 degrees. I can definitely see the leading edge of this next cold front not far off to the northwest. It will arrive here in Kula, probably before I leave to head down to Wailuku to see this Ballet performance…I wrote about in the paragraph above. I expect to drive back up here to Kula after the Ballet, with my wind shield wipers on. This has been such an interesting time, with all these near back-to-back cold fronts coming our way! The really interesting part of this will wait until this weekend, to see how potent, or not, this next stronger cold front is. I just love cold fronts, I always have, and I’m sure…always will. It’s something about the weather changes involved, that really grabs me! At any rate, here’s a looping satellite image, and a looping radar image, so you can see the current situation.
Interesting video called Gravity Glue…with Michael Grab – Thanks Nancy Lorenz of Sebastopol, California / full screen is best
World-wide tropical cyclone activity:
Atlantic Ocean: The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1st through November 30th.
Here’s the 2013 hurricane season summary
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. 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. 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: Could sharks help researchers predict hurricanes? – During a casual game of golf in 2010, marine biologist Jerry Ault mentioned his latest research project to friend and colleague, Nick Shay. The two are professors at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science, but their work rarely, if ever, overlaps. Ault tracks the behavior and migratory patterns of marine animals, while Shay studies the waters those animals inhabit.
Ault was just making conversation, but the comment led to research that could change the way forecasters predict the severity of hurricanes and tropical storms.
Since 2001, Ault’s research team has been tagging fish, primarily tarpon, with satellite-linked sensors that measure ocean temperature, depth, light level and salinity. The university also started tagging sharks in 2010.
Looking at the data, they noticed an interesting pattern: as they migrate, tarpon follow a line of water that is 79 degrees. That’s when Shay’s ears perked up.
The ocean temperature these fish were following – 79 degrees – matches the lower bound temperature for tropical storms.
“The animals were tracking the primary metric that was critical for [Shay's] work,” Ault tells CBS News.
That measure is ocean heat content, the energy in the ocean that’s available to be drawn up into the storm. Knowing how much ocean heat content is available is critical in predicting the severity of a storm.
Currently, researchers send piloted aircrafts into the storms. The storm chasers drop a dropsonde — 16-inch tube filled will temperature, pressure and humidity measuring tools — into the storm. In July 2013, NOAA also started using GPS to measure wind speeds.
By using data sent back from fish and sharks that are already in the area, the information is available faster, cheaper and in a safer manner.
“These things can talk to us in near-real time through satellites,” says Ault. “[Forecasters] can update their models a lot faster with high-res information that’s actually there, if they are not dependent on the time lags and costs of having to go out there in the airplanes and drop these sensors.”
So far, the UM team has equipped more than 750 sharks, tarpon, tuna and billfish with the tags.
“They’re the boots on the ground,” assistant professor Neil Hammerschlag told CBS News. “They’re able to make precise measurements that can be used by these forecasters. The cool part is that these animals all live and occupy different habitats and areas, so it allows you to monitor deeper water, different areas.”
All together, the tagged fish are helping the researchers at UM monitor a range of depths in the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean.
The tags cost about $4,000 each. (That price does not include the time that the researchers spend trying to safely catch the fish and attach the sensors, which can prove difficult.) They release data every time the fish or shark comes near or through the surface.
Their current data set is interesting, but it is still in a very early stage. The scope is not nearly large enough yet to reliably predict storm patterns – that would require tagging thousands of marine animals. UM is currently seeking funding from government and private sources to expand the research.
Another interesting use for the data could be monitoring when the sharks or fish leave their normal areas.
That’s because many sharks, such as nurse sharks, leave the area when air and water pressure starts dropping ahead of a storm, as reported by The Telegraph in 2008. If the fleeing sharks are wearing satellite-linked tags, their actions could serve as an important early-warning system. Ault and Hammerschlag said these behavioral patters have not been studied enough to draw a conclusion on this application of the technology.
Researchers have tried other ways of monitoring ocean temperature patterns, with limited success. In 2012, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration started using underwater “glider” drones to measure ocean heat. But despite their $200,000 price tag, the gliders can’t move quickly and they’re no match against ocean currents.