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

Lihue, Kauai –                     80  
Honolulu airport, Oahu –       82  
Kaneohe, Oahu –                 80
Molokai airport –                  79

Kahului airport, Maui –          83  (record high for the date – 88 1994)
Kona airport –                     80 
Hilo airport, Hawaii –            81 

Air Temperatures ranged between these warmest and coolest spots near sea level – and on the highest mountain tops…as of 5pm Monday evening:

Kahului, Maui – 79
Princeville, Kauai – 73

Haleakala Crater –  50 (near 10,000 feet on Maui)
Mauna Kea –         36
(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.

 Aloha Paragraphs

  Active surf on our north and west shores –
   trade wind gradually slowing down –
   localized windward showers…increasing
during the upcoming weekend

Happy Valentines Day! 

As this weather map shows, we have a storm low pressure system to the north-northwest of the islands, with an associated cold front far to our northwest of the islands….which will slowly move in the direction of the offshore waters to the northwest of Kauai.   At the same time, we have high pressure systems to the northeast of the islands…with an associated ridge running by to the north of Hawaii. Our winds will ease up and turning more towards the southeast through mid-week.

The following numbers represent the strongest wind gusts (mph), along with directions Monday evening:

15                 Princeville, Kauai – E 
22                 Bellows, Oahu – NE
20                 Molokai – NE    
42                    Kahoolawe – ENE  
29                 Kapalua, Maui – NE  
14                 Lanai – NE 
32                 South Point, Big Island – NE 

We can use the following links to see what’s going on in our area of the north central Pacific Ocean Monday evening.  Looking at this NOAA satellite picture we see low clouds upwind of the islands, impacting the windward sides locally, and around the mountains too. We can use this looping satellite image to see areas of low clouds out and around the islands…mostly over the ocean to the northeast and south and southwest. At the same time, we find some high clouds now to the north of Hawaii. Checking out this looping radar image we see some showers, being carried into the windward sides on our still gusty trade winds locally…at the time of this writing.

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

2.53                 Mount Waialeale, Kauai
0.83               Manoa Lyon Arboretum, Oahu
0.08               Molokai
0.00               Kahoolawe

0.75               Puu Kukui, Maui
0.43               Glenwood, Big Island

Sunset Commentary:
  The trade winds will remain active this evening, although gradually becoming lighter into mid-week. There will continue to be some windward biased showers at times, although showers will be at a minimum on our south and west facing leeward beaches for the most part. Satellite imagery shows considerable low level clouds surrounding the islands, some of which are banking up against the windward sides, and around the mountains too. Clouds will tend to congregate along the southeast sides of the Big Island and Maui through mid-week…along with afternoon clouds during this time as well.

A cold front will approach the state from the northwest over the next couple of days. It will cause our trade winds to give way to lighter breezes into Wednesday. This will likely bring slightly cooler mornings to our islands, although with nice warm afternoons near sea level.  The cold front will stall well offshore before getting to Kauai, with strengthening trade winds returning Thursday into the weekend. These strong and gusty trades later in the week will likely bring an increase in our windward biased showers for the weekend.

Here in Kula, Maui at 550pm HST, we had calm winds, with cloudy skies, and an air temperature of 63.7F degrees. As noted above, the trade winds will falter some tonight, at least to some extent. The winds will continue over the open ocean, although in the lee of the islands, winds will be lighter through Wednesday. They won't be lighter for long however, as we should see them strengthen again Thursday through the rest of the week. We still have that good chance of finding more than the normal amount of incoming windward biased showers later in the week, with perhaps some even extending into the leeward sides in places too…this weekend. Meanwhile, the surf will continue to break along our north and west facing beaches this week, the largest days should probably be on Thursday into Friday. The south shores will be sheltered from these breakers however, where the best beaching opportunities will exist. ~~~ I'll be back early Tuesday morning with your next new weather narrative, I hope you have a great Monday night until then! Aloha for now…Glenn.

Interesting: Cocoa trees produce pods, which is the fruit chocolate comes from. Large harvests occur by hand twice annually throughout the year. Chocolate liquor is the thick paste generated when chocolate nibs, the roasted and de-shelled chocolate beans, are heated to a high temperature; it's then separated into cocoa butter and cocoa powder.

1.) Cocoa trees produce pods, which is the fruit chocolate comes from. Large harvests occur by hand twice annually throughout the year.

2.) Chocolate liquor is the thick paste generated when chocolate nibs, the roasted and de-shelled chocolate beans, are heated to a high temperature; it's then separated into cocoa butter and cocoa powder.

3.) The FDA has established standards to identify different kinds of chocolate.

4.) Milk chocolate contains cream or other dairy products and sugar, but it must contain at least 10 percent chocolate liquor;

5.) Dark, bittersweet or semisweet chocolate must contain at least 35 percent chocolate liquor;

6.) White chocolate contains no chocolate liquor, but instead consists of cocoa butter, sugar, dairy products, and flavorings; it must contain at least 20 percent cocoa butter and no more than 55 percent sugar.

7.) A machine known as an "electronic nose" evaluates the chocolate's aroma.

8.) Several tests are conducted on chocolate liquor to make sure it's fit for human consumption and check for qualities such as moisture content, fat content, free fatty acid content, particle size, viscosity, color, and flavor.

9.) Roasting the cocoa beans is an important step in chocolate processing as it eliminates pathogens (particularly salmonella).

1.) There is not a one standard method of quality testing in the chocolate industry; companies around the world have their own ways of measuring chocolate quality and their own types of equipment.