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

Lihue, Kauai –                     78  
Honolulu airport, Oahu –      80   
Kaneohe, Oahu –                 M
Molokai airport –                 77

Kahului airport, Maui –      81   (Record high temperature for this date – 89 / 1952)
Kona airport –                    79
Hilo airport, Hawaii –           76

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

Kahului, Maui – 78
Princeville, Kauai – 70

Haleakala Crater –  48 (near 10,000 feet on Maui)
Mauna Kea –         37
(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…although this webcam is often not working correctly.

 Aloha Paragraphs   
Fewer showers…lighter winds from
the southeast Monday-Tuesday

Windy trade winds with showers Wednesday
and Thursday…then drier next weekend

  Volcanic haze (vog) arriving Monday or Tuesday


As this weather map shows, we have a near 1030 millibar high pressure system to the northeast, with associated ridges extending far east and west of the islands.  Our winds will become lighter from the southeast through Tuesday.

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

16                 Lihue, Kauai – E
23                 Wheeler AFB, Oahu – ESE
18                 Molokai – NNE
42                 Kahoolawe – E
32                 Kapalua, Maui – NE
09                 Lanai – WNW

29                 South Point, Big Island – ENE

We can use the following links to see what’s going on in our area of the north central Pacific Ocean
Sunday evening.  Looking at this NOAA satellite picture we see scattered low clouds over the ocean coming into the islands from the east…with some light high cirrus clouds just to our west. We can use this looping satellite image to see low clouds coming into the state, carried by the trade winds, which are turning more east-southeast and southeast. We also see a cold front/trough developing to our west, with some minor cirrus close to Kauai at the time of this writing. Checking out this looping radar image we see just a few showers being carried over the islands by the trade winds, mostly over the windward coasts and slopes, although elsewhere in some places too.

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

1.75               Mount Waialeale, Kauai
1.10               Manoa Lyon Arboretum, Oahu
0.12               Molokai
0.00               Kahoolawe

0.58               Puu Kukui, Maui
0.49               Mountain View, Big Island

Sunset Commentary:
   This week's trade wind weather pattern is coming to an end now. Generally fair weather will continue, although windward showers will continue to fall here and there, before these trade winds veer to the southeast today.

As we push into the new week, these trade winds will give way to lighter southeast breezes. This will be due to a trough of low pressure, and an associated cold front edging into the area over the ocean west of Kauai. The forecast continues to show this area of low pressure stalling before arriving into the Aloha state however. The winds are forecast to veer to the southeast, drawing vog over the smaller islands…from the Big Island vents at some point Monday or Tuesday.

Here in Kula, Maui at 520pm HST, we had light breezes, with mostly cloudy skies…and an air temperature of 66.2F degrees. The clouds (the brighter white ones) we see on this looping satellite imagery to our northwest and west, are part of an upper trough of low pressure, and an associated cold front. As we move into the early part of the new work week, the winds will turn southeast, carrying volcanic haze over the smaller islands with time, making for hazy conditions by Tuesday. The trough and front are expected to stall before arriving however, keeping its associated rainfall at bay to our west.  If the winds calm down quite a bit, there could also be a few afternoon upcountry showers popping-up along our leeward slopes. The trade winds will rebound by mid-week, ushering in active windward showers for several days thereafter too…then drier weather will return next Friday into the weekend. ~~~ I'll be back early Monday morning with your next sunrise commentary. I hope you have a Sunday night wherever you're spending it! Aloha for now…Glenn.

Interesting:  There are 28,000 square miles of roadways spread across the 48 continental states. With the cost of traditional paving materials going up and their availability going down, innovator Scott Brusaw sees solar highways as the solution to several energy and transportation problems.

Brusaw is an electrical engineer (MSEE) with over 20 years of industry experience, and is the co-founder of Idaho-based Solar Roadways Incorporated. His solar roadway concept won a $50,000 Community Award from the 2010 GE Ecomagination Challenge, and also received the most community votes in the 2011 event.

Brusaw's 12 x12 ft solar road prototype incorporates an array of solar panels. Each panel includes three yellow and three white LEDs, with just over 6,000 LEDs in the whole prototype. The system's internal microprocessor determines which LEDs light up, allowing the mechanism to spell out almost any message.

Once the first phase of the Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) contract was completed, the Federal Highway Administration awarded Brusaw's company a $750,000 Phase II SBIR contract in July 2011. That equals roughly two years' worth of funding for solar streets, according to Brusaw.

Phase II involves building a parking lot paved with embedded solar panels outside of the company's electronics lab in Sandpoint, Idaho.

The plan is to break ground for the parking lot next month, but that’s only if Mother Nature cooperates. "Right now, there's snow and ice on the ground," explains Brusaw.

Interesting2: The city of Manila holds the human world record for the most densely populated space and now an international team of ecologists are seeking the natural equivalent, the most species rich area on earth. The team's findings, published in the Journal of Vegetation Science, reveal the record is contested between South America's tropical rainforests and Central European meadows.

"The coexistence of large numbers of species in one space and the questions it raises have long fascinated ecologists," said Professor Bastow Wilson, from the University of Otago, New Zealand. "For example it's a core ecological principle that two species occupying the same niche cannot co-exist long-term, so how can 942 plant species co-exist in one hectare of tropical rainforest?"

While tropical rainforests of South America and Central Africa are often believed to be the most species rich areas on Earth, Professor Wilson's team sought to establish if this is true, especially if smaller spatial scales are analysed. "We surveyed the global literature to find records of plant species richness at scales from 1 mm² up to 1 hectare.

Above 50 m², all the maximum values were from tropical rainforests in Costa Rica, Columbia or Ecuador," said Wilson. "However, looking at smaller scales we have found that long-grazed or mown grasslands are the most species rich places on Earth."

These very rich grasslands were found in the eastern half of Europe, from the German border through to Romania, although two examples were also found in Argentina. Most were over limestone, and two were from wooded meadow, a landscape once common over northern Europe but now very rare.

Using these data the team asked if there is a theoretical maximum for the number of species which can co-exist in one area. They extrapolated the relationship up to 1 hectare, predicting the number of plant species over the whole earth.

"Any scientific hypothesis should be tested in a new situation, and the strongest test is extrapolation, even if school teachers warn their pupils not to do it," concluded Wilson. "This left us with a predicted number of 219,204 species, remarkably close to the latest estimate of the world's vascular flora at 275,000 species."