Air Temperatures – The following maximum temperatures (F) were recorded across the state of Hawaii Sunday:
72 Lihue, Kauai
74 Honolulu, Oahu
75 Kahului, Maui
78 Kailua Kona
75 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 730pm Sunday evening:
Kaneohe, Oahu – 72
Hana, Maui - 66
Haleakala Summit – 32 (near 10,000 feet on Maui)
Mauna Kea Summit – 32 (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 is now over the Big Island, as it continues to slide
slowly east and southeast – it will keep showers falling…especially
over Maui County and the Big Island into Monday
Winds southeast to southwest ahead of, and along the cold front…
from the northwest and north, with a chill in the wake of the
front into Monday
Improved weather should arrive later Monday into Tuesday…
continuing for several days – with the next cold front arriving
later Friday into next weekend
Extra Large high surf event… north and west shores of the islands –
High Wind Warning…Big Island summits – through 6am Monday -
45-75 mph with stronger gusts over 80
Winter Weather Advisory…Big Island summits – snow and freezing rain
Small Craft Wind Advisory…all coastal and channels waters
The following numbers represent the most recent top wind gusts (mph), along with directions…as of Sunday evening:
16 Puu Opae, Kauai – N
18 Makua Range, Oahu – ENE
24 Molokai – NW
16 Lanai – SW
12 Kahoolawe – SW
10 Hana, Maui – SE
22 Puu Wawa, Big Island -SE
Here are the latest 24-hour precipitation totals (inches) for each of the islands…as of Sunday evening (545pm totals):
0.89 Wainiha, Kauai
1.48 Poamoho, Oahu
1.79 Kula 1, Maui
2.58 Kainaliu, 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 cold front will stall just to the southeast and east of the Big Island…with cooler north to northwesterly breezes in its wake. 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 north of the state, with a cold front trailing to the south and southwest…which is passing over the Big Island. Meanwhile, we see a high pressure systems offshore well to the east-northeast of the state and west-northwest, which have their associated high pressure ridges extend east and west towards the state. Winds will generally be light to moderately strong from the the north through northwest for the time being. These winds will gradually become more mild mannered trade winds as we move through the next few days. The trades will gradually shift back to the southeast and south after the mid-week period, as the next cold front approaches the state.
Satellite imagery shows a large area of showery clouds continuing to move across the state…with an embedded cold front now near the Big Island. These clouds associated with this front are dropping light to moderately heavy showers here and there, with some breaks in the showers locally. Here’s the looping radar image, showing showers being drawn up over the islands, along with the showers associated with the cold front itself. Looking at this larger satellite image, which is in the looping mode, we can see this frontal cloud band, those bright whiter clouds, are steadily moving through our islands, along with the conveyor belt of winds from the southwest, bringing clouds over us. The combination of these moisture sources are what will keep off and on rain showers over us into Monday…the heaviest of which will likely focus over Maui County and the Big Island.
This cold front is slowly but surely moving southeast, having traveled over Kauai, Oahu and Maui County…and near the Big Island at the moment. Meanwhile, an upper level trough of low pressure is edging over the state now, helping to keep the cold front moving down over the Big Island this evening…where it may stall just offshore to the east into Monday. This trough will enhance rainfall over the eastern islands, while the Kauai side of the chain may gradually begin to see somewhat less rainfall…which will occur over Oahu with time too.
The current wet weather conditions will show a marked improvement, with generally fair conditions later in the day Tuesday…although will still be a bit on the cool side at first. There should be some leftover moisture bringing drizzle or light showers to the windward sides into the new week as well. The latest forecast models are suggesting that we’ll see yet another cold front approaching the state, with unsettled weather Friday into the first part of next weekend. This extended forecast is still quite a ways out into the future, so there will of course be adjustments necessary as we go forward. I’ll be back again early Monday morning with updates on all of the above. Here’s wishing you a great Sunday 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 61.3 degrees at 605am on this Sunday morning. The impressive clouds and showers over the state this morning will make driving a challenge at times, so please be careful. The showers just arrived here at my place, although they aren’t by any means heavy, they are what I would call light to almost moderately heavy. The looping radar image shows more to come, that’s for sure. The air temperature at 630am is relatively warm at 61.2 degrees, along with nearly calm breezes coming up from the southwest.
~~~ It’s now 840am, under cloudy skies and light rain, with an air temperature of 61.5 degrees. It’s been coming down steadily for a while now, nothing heavy though, just a generally nice light rain so far. It’s a winter day, no doubt about it, the kind of day that feels kind of good to hunker in, have a nice breakfast, listening to some nice classical music, and do a bit of reading…at least for me.
~~~ The last hour has brought heavy rain, with a small bit of flooding in my area. I was up the mountain, at my friend’s new property, and there was heavy rainfall, which had the roads flooding in a very localized area. It’s now 1050am, and its coming down steadily here in Kula, and I got a report that over in Olinda, on the windward side of east Maui, was receiving heavy rain too. The winds are a bit gusty from the Kona direction, with an air temperature of 60.8 degrees.
~~~ We’re into the early afternoon now, with still cloudy skies, although the showers have stopped falling here at 1pm. The lower clouds have moved on, with middle level clouds now over us, with a good little break in the recent rainfall. I can see from glancing at the radar images, that there is still quite a bit of light to moderately heavy rainfall still in our area, although it looks like Kauai is just to the west of the primary rain shield at this time. The air temperature here in Kula has warmed up a little, as the rains have stopped, at 63.7 degrees. Oops, just as I planted that last period in the sentence, I can hear large drops of rain starting to fall again!
~~~ It’s been lightly raining most of the afternoon, and continues now at 420pm, with cloudy skies and a cool 58.5 on my thermometer. The cold front is either over Maui, or has moved onwards towards the Big Island, with that expected cooler weather now over us. I have a down vest on, and I’m still slightly on the cool side. The clouds are very low, with what looks like fog trying to get a hold over me at the moment. Looking at the radar image, and satellite too, it looks like Maui County is the rainiest part of the island chain at the time of this writing…especially over Molokai and Lanai. Kauai has seen some clearing today, with a temporary break in the cloud cover over Oahu soon too.
~~~ Here at 6pm, I just checked the number of page views that there have been today on this website, and with still many hours of the day left, there have been 20,681…which is a large number in my book. The skies are starting to get darker now, although most of that is being caused by the excessive amount of moisture in the atmosphere. It’s totally cloudy, with moderately heavy rain falling, and a cool 58.5 degrees. It has been a winter day here on Maui, without a doubt. High temperatures across the state were cool across the board, with no place in the state reaching 80 degrees…with several lower 70 degree high temperatures at sea level. It’s now 810pm, with light rain still falling, an air temperature of 57.9, and 23,101 page views…thank you very much for using my site for your weather needs!
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)
North and South Indian Oceans: There are no active tropical cyclones
Here’s a link to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC)
Interesting: Is Weird Winter Weather Related to Climate Change? – This winter’s weather has been weird across much of the Northern Hemisphere. Record storms in Europe; record drought in California; record heat in parts of the Arctic, including Alaska and parts of Scandinavia; but record freezes too, as polar air blew south over Canada and the U.S., causing near-record ice cover on the Great Lakes, sending the mercury as low as minus 50 degrees Celsius in Minnesota, and bringing sharp chills to Texas.
Everyone is blaming the jet stream, which drives most weather in mid-latitudes. That would be a significant development. For what happens to the jet stream in the coming decades looks likely to be the key link between the abstractions of climate change and real weather we all experience. So, is our recent strange weather a sign of things to come? Are we, as British opposition leader Ed Milliband put it this month while surveying a flooded nation, “sleepwalking to a climate crisis”?
The story gets tangled because trying to identify long-term trends amid the noise of daily weather is hard.
The U.K. Met Office, which keeps a global weather watch, said in a rush report put out in mid-February that we are experiencing a “hemispheric pattern of severe weather,” and that the events are linked. The most extreme days of the U.S. cold event, for instance, coincided with some of the most intense storms over the U.K. And physically the connection is through the polar jet stream, which the report said showed a “persistent pattern of perturbations” — in other words, it ran wild.
The polar jet stream is a narrow stream of fast wind circling the globe from west to east at the top of the troposphere from 7 to 12 kilometers up, and usually between 50 and 70 degrees north. It forms where cold, dense air from the Arctic meets warmer and less dense air from mid-latitudes. At the boundary, winds rush in to equalize the pressure difference. The earth’s rotation diverts these winds to travel eastward.
As the jet roars around the world, it drags weather systems with it. Most of Europe’s weather rides in under the jet stream from the Atlantic, and most of the western U.S.’s weather comes from the Pacific in a similar manner.
This year, the jet has been unusually far north in the Pacific, bringing balmy weather to Alaska. But across the Atlantic it has been unusually far south, unusually persistent, and 30 percent faster than normal. It has sent more than 30 storms, many of them much larger and more intense than normal, crashing into the shores of Britain in the past three months. With the storms have come high winds and heavy rains almost every day, delivering amounts of precipitation unseen in records going back more than a century — and probably exceeding anything else in the last 250 years, according to the Met Office report.
At the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Chicago this month, climatologist Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University linked “this bizarre winter” to climate change, and in particular to changes in the jet stream caused by a warming Arctic. “Weather patterns are changing,” she said. “We can expect more of the same.”
Francis notes that the Arctic has been warming faster than the rest of the planet in recent decades, driven by melting ice that replaced reflective white surfaces with dark, energy-absorbing ocean. That is expected to continue. While lower latitudes will also warm, the result will be to reduce the temperature gradient between polar and mid-latitude air that drives the jet. So, says Francis, we can expect the jet to slow. A slower jet is generally more meandering and inclined to get “stuck,” delivering unchanging weather.
There is one problem with this analysis as regards recent events, says Tim Woollings, who researches atmospheric dynamics at Oxford University in England. While the jet stream has indeed been “stuck” for the past two months, delivering cold weather to North America and storms across the Atlantic, it is not slow and meandering. Across the Atlantic at least, it has been fast and remarkably straight. “That is the exact opposite to the weak meandering jet of your hypothesis,” Woollings told Francis in an email exchange last week that both shared with Yale Environment 360.
That certainly doesn’t prove Francis wrong. Woollings agrees that Francis’s prediction of a stuck meandering jet looks very like the situation in the Pacific this winter. But it does complicate claims that this winter’s extremes can be blamed on man-made climate change.
So what is going on? The Met Office came to the conclusion that the real driver of the action in recent months was not in the Arctic or the Atlantic, but far away in the western Pacific Ocean. The jet stream, remember, is a global wind, circling the earth. This winter, the jet stream over the Pacific has been deflected much further north than usual. This, according to the Met Office, is likely a consequence of some combination of heavy rains over Indonesia, warm Pacific waters, and unusual pressure systems.
The displaced Pacific leg of the jet stream dragged warm air up over Alaska. But, once east of the Rockies, it met the dense cold air of the Arctic and plunged south. A long way south — as far as Texas at times. This southward excursion of the jet brought freezing weather across much of the U.S. But it also brought that cold polar air into contact with warm southerly breezes. Thus the temperature gradient at the boundary between polar and non-polar air was exceptionally great. At times, says Francis, Arctic air was meeting tropical air as the polar jet coalesced with the sub-tropical jet, which forms where tropical air meets air from the north.
The scientists agree that this exceptional temperature difference dramatically speeded up the jet stream as it pushed out over the Atlantic on its unusually southerly trajectory. A fast jet stream is usually also a straight jet stream. And the southerly route allowed the surface air it pulled along to pick up unusual amounts of moisture evaporating from the warm waters of the Atlantic.
The result was that the jet slammed a long succession of intense storms into southern England, where they would normally hit Scotland or miss the U.K. altogether. The storms contained huge volumes of moisture. And, to add to the tumult, the fast winds across the Atlantic also whipped up big waves and tidal surges; so in places record flood flows coming down rivers met flood waters coming off the sea. Parts of Britain were submerged.
Where does this leave us on climate change? It is no great surprise that there is confusion. Weather is weather. It is always changeable, with a large random element. Stuff happens. The Met Office notes that the winter’s weird weather has a range of causes besides the jet stream, including unusual upper atmosphere winds over the North Pole, and anomalies in the eastern Pacific that have delivered severe drought to California. There is, the Met Office says, no compelling evidence from this winter to suggest that there is a new emerging pattern.
But that doesn’t mean nothing is going on. Long-term trends are hard to spot, and natural variability is still generally dominant over the subtle changes in climate, or “average weather.”
Yet there are some instances where attribution is possible. For example, climate researchers have persuasively argued that a few intense heat waves — such as the one that killed 70,000 people in western Europe in 2003 — would have been highly unlikely without the added impetus of global warming. But for weather extremes other than rising temperatures, unambiguous attribution of even extreme events is very hard to make, whatever the suspicions that something is up.
Climate scientists remain very uncertain about how most of the major features of the world’s weather will respond to global warming. The climate will change, for sure, but exactly how is a tough call.
El Niño, the Asian and African monsoons, Atlantic hurricanes, the jet streams: The most recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), issued last October, puts a big question mark over the likely trends for all of them. And while Francis suggests the polar jet stream should slow as the Arctic warms, the IPCC noted that most climate models predict a faster polar jet.
Actual trends so far don’t tell us much. According to the Met Office, the number of storms crossing the Atlantic in a normal year is no higher today than 150 years ago. But Xiaolan Wang of Environment Canada, a government agency, last year reported evidence that winter storms are becoming stronger over the North Atlantic. This may not have anything to do with the jet stream, however. These storms could just be picking up more moisture from an Atlantic that is now substantially warmer than in past decades.
Data from weather stations around the world reveal more extreme precipitation events — and more droughts, too. This is firmly in line with the predictions of climate models and is “what is expected from fundamental physics,” says the Met Office. A warmer atmosphere will contain more energy, and more moisture from evaporation, says Woollings. It already does. And, in general, more energy and moisture will mean wetter storms in many places.
Weird weather is definitely on the agenda, and the jet stream is very likely to be an important part of it. The nightmare scenario is that Francis will be proved right about the jet stream becoming more “stuck” in a particular trajectory, but that, as happened this winter, it will get stuck while traveling at express speed and bringing strong winds and heavy rain with it. The Met Office says the Francis scenario “raises the possibility that disruption of our usual weather patterns may be how climate change may manifest itself.” If so, that would indeed unleash the perfect storm.