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

Lihue, Kauai –                     81  
Honolulu airport, Oahu –  84  (Record high temperature for Saturday – 90 / 2005) 
Kaneohe, Oahu –                 83
Molokai airport –                 81

Kahului airport, Maui –      84  (Record high temperature for Saturday – 90 / 1984) 
Kona airport –                    83
Hilo airport, Hawaii –           80

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

Kaneohe, Oahu – 82
Hilo, Hawaii
– 76

Haleakala Crater –  50 (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 not always working correctly.

 Aloha Paragraphs

Gusty trades – just a few windward
showers…with dry leeward areas

As this weather map shows, we have a near 1036 millibar high pressure system located far to the northeast of Hawaii, with a second near 1036 millibar high pressure far northwest.  Our local winds will remain moderately strong, although stronger at times Sunday…and beyond.

The following numbers represent the most recent wind gusts (mph), along with directions as of Saturday evening:

25                 Waimea Heights, Kauai – NE

36                 Kuaokala, Oahu – NE
31                 Molokai – NE 
39                 Kahoolawe – NE
37                 Kahului, Maui – NE
33                 Lanai – NE

23                 Pali 2, Big Island – NE

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 imageand finally the latest looping radar image for the Hawaiian Islands. 

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

0.99               Mount Waialeale, Kauai
0.37               Oahu Forest NWR, Oahu
0.02               Molokai
0.00               Lanai
0.00               Kahoolawe

1.99               Puu Kukui, Maui
0.98               Kawainui Stream, Big Island

Sunset Commentary:
   There will continue to be small fluctuations in trade wind speeds, although they will continue to blow well into the new week at least. They will be strongest around Maui County and the Big Island, thus the small craft wind advisory continues around the windiest parts of those eastern islands Saturday, which will continue to be posted through this weekend. These trade winds will carry showers into the windward sides, although not as many as we've seen the last several days. The leeward sides in contrast should remain mostly dry, although a few showers may fall in these areas on the smaller islands locally.

Friday afternoon a couple of friends asked me if I wanted to see the new Avengers film, which of course I did. I turned them down however, as I was pretty sure it will be sold out, or at least be super crowded…as it was opening night. I did want to see a film though, and settled on one called Safe, which is a rough and tumble action film, starring Jason Statham, Chris Sarandon and Catherine Chan…among many others. It probably wasn't nearly as good as The Avengers, but much less crowded I'm sure. My friends agreed with me, and so we meet in Kahului for dinner, and then went see the film together. The synopsis: a second-rate cage fighter on the mixed martial arts circuit, Luke Wright lives a numbing life of routine beatings and chump change…until the day he blows a rigged fight. Wanting to make an example of him, the Russian Mafia murders his family and banishes him from his life forever, leaving Luke to wander the streets of New York destitute, haunted by guilt, and tormented by the knowledge that he will always be watched, and anyone he develops a relationship with will also be killed. I know, I know, this is an edgy film about guns and killing, pure and simple, what can I say. There was a general consensus among my friends that this film deserved a more or less B grade. One of the ladies in the group said "there could have been 50% less killing and the film still would have been ok." I would say that this film had the most killing of any that I've seen in a long time…it was just bam bam bam! Obviously, it isn't a film for everyone, although the theater was quite full, and I had the general impression that it was received favorably. I enjoyed it, and was glad to have sat through it. At any rate, this trailer gives a good taste of what you would expect to see…that is if you were to view it.

Here in Kula, Maui at 515pm, skies were partly cloudy, with near calm winds and an air temperature of 70.2F degrees. As noted above, our trade winds will persist, and now it looks like they will continue unabated through the next week…at least. Saturday's winds were blustery, reaching 40 mph and a bit over that in those windiest locations around the state. They will taper off some tonight, and then increase again during the day Sunday, as usual. Glancing at this satellite image, we see a very limited amount of incoming clouds to the east. This strongly suggests that our weather will remain quite dry through the rest of this weekend…at least. So, you would like to see another day like we had today, Sunday should match it very well. I'll be back Sunday morning with your next new weather narrative, I hope you have a great Saturday night wherever you're spending it! Aloha for now…Glenn.

Extra: Youtube video…The Super Moon of May 5 2012 (tonight)

Extra: Youtube video…Wooden Ships by Crosby Stills and Nash

Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are capable of swimming incredible distances, according to a new study published in Zoology, which recorded polar bears regularly swimming over 30 miles (48 kilometers) and, in one case, as far as 220 miles (354 kilometers). The researchers believe the ability of polar bears to tackle such long-distance swims may help them survive as seasonal sea ice vanishes due to climate change. "Summer sea ice conditions in the southern Beaufort Sea have changed considerably over the last 20 to 30 years, such that there is much more open water during summer and fall.

Historically, there had not been enough open water for polar bears in this region to swim the long distances we observed in these recent summers of extreme sea ice retreat," explains co-author Karen Oakley, of the USGS Alaska Science Center. Oakley and other scientists with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) used GPS collars to track 52 female bears from 2004 and 2009 recording 50 swims with an average of 96 miles (154 kilometers).

The scientists even found evidence that cubs may be able to survive such swims as well. Out of ten observed polar bears with cubs, the scientists were able to find that six of them still had their cubs a year later. "For the other four females with cubs, we don’t know if they lost their cubs before, during, or at some point after their long swims," explains lead author Anthony Pagano.

While the study confirms it is possible for polar bears to undertake swimming odysseys, it does not address how much energy bears are expending during such swims—a question that is likely key to their long-term survival. If the bears expend excessive calories in epic swims, they may simply starve.

Since, during ice-free seasons, the bears must go without food, shedding up to two pounds a day. A 2010 study in Nature predicted that if greenhouse gas emissions are significantly reduced in the next two decades, enough ice would remain to keep polar bears from extinction.

On the other hand, if emissions continue to rise the polar bear will be at considerable risk. Already seasonal ice has been retreating faster than many scientists predicted and could vanish entirely in the next few decades. The Arctic is on the front-lines of climate change, since temperatures there have risen twice as first as the global average.