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

Lihue, Kauai –                       81  
Honolulu airport, Oahu –         80  
Molokai airport –                    81

Kahului airport, Maui –           81

Kona airport     –                 84  
Hilo airport, Hawaii –              76

Air Temperatures ranged between these warmest and coolest spots near sea level – and on the highest mountain tops around the state…as of 930pm Friday evening:   

Kailua-kona – 77
Hilo, Hawaii
– 68   

Haleakala Summit
   46        (near 10,000 feet on Maui)
Mauna Kea Summit – 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…although this webcam is not always working correctly. 

Tropical Cyclone activity in the eastern and central Pacific – Here’s the latest weather information coming out of the National Hurricane Center, covering the eastern north Pacific. You can find the latest tropical cyclone information for the central north Pacific (where Hawaii is located) by clicking on this link to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center. A satellite image, which shows the entire ocean area between Hawaii and the Mexican coast…can be found here.


Aloha Paragraphs

  Continued active trade wind flow well in the future

As this weather map shows, we have a near 1030 high pressure system located to the north of the islands.  Our local winds will be trades…gradually becoming a bit lighter this weekend into the new week.

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

31            Lihue, Kauai – NE

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

36            Waikoloa, 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 Friday evening:

0.49               Mount Waialeale, Kauai
0.74               Manoa Lyon Arboretum
, Oahu
0.00               Lanai
0.00               Kahoolawe

0.47               Puu Kukui, Maui
0.89               Kawainui Stream, Big Island

                                                       ~~ Hawaii evening commentary ~~ 

Our local winds will remain rather strong and gusty…mellowing out only a notch or so through the next week. We find a near 1032 millibar high pressure system (weather map), located to the north of the islands. This high pressure cell will be the source of our trade winds for the time being. The winds topped out just above 40 mph in a gust Friday afternoon, with many 30+ mph gusts elsewhere. 

As we look at this satellite image, it shows the large streak of high and middle level clouds over parts of the island chain…and well to our south. The atmosphere will remain quite dry and stable into the weekend, although there will continue to be a few windward biased showers arriving. The trade winds are strong enough now, that a few showers will likely be carried over into the leeward sides on Molokai, Oahu and Kauai at times too. The models are showing an area of light showers moving towards the state late this weekend, and if they were to actually arrive, and that's still a question…they might take aim on the Big Island end of the state. 

Friday night is still movie night in my life…apparently. This evening I had planned to see the new film Cloud Atlas, although when I got down there, the starting time was different than I'd thought it would be. So, I saw another I'd been wanting to see, called Argo, starring Ben Affleck, Alan Arkin, John Goodman, Bryan Cranston, Taylor Schilling and Scoot McNairy…among many others. The synopsis: The true story of the life-or-death covert operation to rescue six Americans, which unfolded behind the scenes of the Iran hostage crisis–the truth of which was unknown by the public for decades. The reviews are high on this film, and I recall after seeing the trailer the first time, I wanted to see it very much. Speaking of which, here's the trailer, and I will write more about my impression in the morning.

Here in Kula, Maui at 530pm Friday evening, it was partly to mostly cloudy, with light breezes…and an air temperature of 66.7F degrees.  The weather here in Hawaii will remain quite windy, although becoming slightly less so over the next several days. This looping satellite image shows the area of high level moisture coming up from the deeper tropics.  The latest guidance shows these cirrus clouds sticking around through the weekend.  This implies that they will filter our sunshine during the days, as they have been over the last few days…and provide nice sunset and sunrise colors. ~~~ I typically think that this time of year would start to become a bit more active, in terms of cold fronts and such. Alas, I just looked at both the GFS and the NOGAPS computer models out through the 24th, and found no frontal activity reaching down into our tropical latitudes. The Navy NOGAPS does show an interesting slug of tropical moisture forming to the south of the state on the 19th (Monday). This area of showers then moves up over the state from the southwest direction, bringing showers on the 21st through 22nd (Wednesday-Thanksgiving Day). The GFS model shows only a small part of this, and brings less showers to the Big Island and perhaps Maui on Monday. Will any of this happen? I don't know, although I'll keep an eye on this possible intrusion of showery weather. ~~~ I'm outta here, gotta get ready for my drive down to Kahului, to Whole Foods for dinner, and then to see the film Cloud Atlas. I'll catch up with you in the morning. I hope you have a great Friday night wherever you're spending it! Aloha for now…Glenn.

Extra: Leonid Meteor Shower 2012…Peak time early Saturday morning

World-wide tropical cyclone activity:

Atlantic Ocean/Caribbean Sea:
  There are no active tropical cyclones

Gulf of Mexico: There are no active tropical cyclones

Eastern Pacific Ocean: There are no active tropical cyclones

Central Pacific Ocean:  There are no active tropical cyclones

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

Interesting:  Katydid or crickets are the common name of certain large, singing, winged insects belonging to the long-horned grasshopper family. Katydids are green or, occasionally, pink and range in size from 11/4 to 5 inches long. Katydids are nocturnal and arboreal; they sing in the evening. Scientists studying a species of South American bush cricket with some of the smallest ears known have discovered it has hearing so sophisticated that it rivals our own.

The study, published in Science, is the first to identify hearing organs in an insect that are evolutionary convergent to those of mammals. Led by the scientists at the University of Bristol, they show how the bush cricket’s (Copiphora Gorgonensis) auditory system has evolved over millions of years to develop auditory mechanisms strikingly similar to those of humans, but using an entirely different machinery.

Robert and his colleagues focused their study on the insect that can hear sound whose frequency ranges from 5,000 to 50,000 hertz. Humans, in comparison, can hear between about 20 and 20,000 hertz. These katydids sing at about 23,000 hertz, in ultrasound, or above the human range of hearing. In mammals, hearing relies on three processing stages: an eardrum collecting sound, a middle ear impedance converter and a cochlear frequency analyzer.

The bush cricket’s ears, which are found on its two front legs, can perform all three stages, using ears that, despite being much smaller, work like those of humans, but look very different. After studying the bush cricket’s microscopic auditory system the researchers discovered how impedance conversion — the process of efficiently converting air-borne sounds into liquid-borne vibrations — takes place in these insects.

The bush cricket’s miniature solution to the problem of impedance conversion relies on a system of mechanical levers, a sort of microscopic see-saw formed by its eardrum that makes the link to the inner ear. Collaborating with archaeologist Professor Kate Robson-Brown at the University of Bristol’s Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, the research team also unveiled the complex internal anatomy of the cricket’s ears.

They found a new organ for insects which allows the animal to separate out a wide range of frequencies. By measuring nanoscale vibration using laser Doppler technology, the team went on to show that this system works just like the cochlea of mammals, yet about sixty times smaller.

Daniel Robert, one of the study’s lead authors and Professor of Bionanoscience at the University of Bristol’s School of Biological Sciences, said: "Hearing is one of our most important senses as it enables us to perceive sounds with complex tonal structures.

However, in other animals, hearing can often mean a matter of life or death, which explains why this insect has hearing that is so sophisticated. In the cacophony of their rain forest environment, it is crucial for these crickets to distinguish between a chorus of insect sounds and the ultrasounds of hunting bats."

"This discovery that some insects possess such complex biophysical mechanisms for auditory processing is a break through; it will help us develop bio-inspired hearing devices that are smaller and more accurate than ever before, and with much-improved functionality."

Dr Fernando Montealegre-Z, Senior Lecturer at the University of Lincoln and the study's other lead author, added: "We discovered a novel structure that constitutes the key element in hearing in these insects, which had not been considered in previous work.

The organ is a fluid-filled vesicle, which we have named the Auditory Vesicle. This hearing organ mediates the process of conversion of acoustic energy (sound waves) to mechanical, hydraulic and electrochemical energy. The integration laser Doppler vibrometry, and micro-CT scanning from the labs of Professors Robert and Robson-Brown allowed to identify the auditory vesicle and to conclude that the process relies on a tympanal lever system analogous to the mammalian ossicles, which serves to transmit air-borne sound to the fluid (the auditory vesicle), and also on the mechanoreceptors."

The researchers are now investigating the ears of other insects, including a closely related katydid that sings at an amazingly high 150 kilohertz (150,000 hertz), the most ultrasonic singer of any known organism. The wavelength of such sounds is so short that the katydids must have ultra-sensitive ear structures to catch it over distances, Montealegre-Zapata said. Ultimately, the researchers plan to engineer extremely tiny, extremely sensitive microphones and sound sensors.