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

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

Kahului airport, Maui –       83

Kona airport     –                   81  
Hilo airport, Hawaii –              80

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 – 74
Molokai, Maui  –  69

Haleakala Summit    M       (near 10,000 feet on Maui)

Mauna Kea Summit – 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.

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 

Light south to southeast breezes, localized vog

Mostly clear and cool morning Saturday, cloudy
afternoon interior sections…a few showers

Increasing clouds later Saturday into Sunday,
with showers, some locally heavy, especially
Kauai and Oahu…and perhaps Maui County

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

14            Mana, Kauai – SE
22            Makua Range, Oahu – SW 
12            Molokai – E    
15            Kahoolawe – SE
14            Lipoa, Maui – NE
10            Lanai – NNE

20            South Point, Big Island – ENE

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

0.01          Waialae, Kauai
0.03          Schofield South, Oahu

0.00          Molokai

0.00          Lanai
0.00          Kahoolawe

0.01          Puu Kukui, Maui
0.01          Kapapala, 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 imageand finally the latest looping radar image for the Hawaiian Islands.

                                          ~~ Hawaii weather commentary ~~

Generally light breezes will come up from the southwest through southeast, which will bring variable amounts of volcanic haze over some parts of the Aloha state.  We currently have weak high pressure systems (weather map), located over the ocean to the east of Hawaii…which are about to merge. Meanwhile, we find multiple low pressure systems to our northwest through northeast. Our winds will come up from the southwest through southeast over the open ocean, with onshore sea breezes during the days locally. As we get into the weekend, our winds will remain active from generally the south, although from variable directions depending upon exposure.

As we look at this satellite image, we see areas of high cirrus clouds over the ocean…extending over the islands in places. As these high clouds move overhead during the night, we'll see filtering of our Hawaiian moonshine in most areas. Saturday will start off in a clear to partly cloudy way, with those wispy cirrus still over us here and there. As we push into the afternoon, we'll see more of those upcountry clouds forming, although with just a few showers here and there. We'll find a change in the offing Saturday night into Sunday, which is described below.

Friday night film: this time around I'm going to see The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn part 2, starring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser and Ashely Green…among many others. The synopsis: the astonishing conclusion to the series, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2, illuminates the secrets and mysteries of this spellbinding romantic epic that has entranced millions. I've seen all the films in this series, and have liked them all so far…so I see no reason to skip this last one. I'll let you know what I thought about this film in the morning as usual. Until then, if you'd like to get a sneak peek, here's the trailer.

The prospect of locally heavy rainfall is forecast for Kauai, Oahu, and perhaps parts of Maui County as well…Saturday night into Sunday.  Low pressure will develop to the west and northwest of the state this weekend…along with an associated cold front. This will provide instability, and shower prone atmospherics to at least the western islands. This outlook suggests that there could be the chance of flooding here and there during that time frame. Meanwhile, Maui County and the Big Island appear to be just outside of the main rain shield, at least that's how it looks at the moment. This unsettled weather pattern should keep off and on showery weather over much of the state through the middle of next week.

There may be a break in this wet situation Monday, although the models show more wet weather arriving Monday night into Wednesday morning.
This would be the best opportunity for thunderstorms to flare up, which could lead to more possible localized flooding then. This second wave of showers has a better chance of wetting the entire state, although I'll have more information about that over the next few days. I'll have more updates on all of the above, when I return Saturday morning. I hope you have a great Friday night wherever you happen to be spending it! Aloha for now…Glenn.

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:  Tropical cyclone Bopha (26W) Tropical cyclone Bopha (26W) remains active in the western Pacific…located approximately 350 NM east-southeast of Palau. Sustained winds were 115 knots, with gusts to near 140 knots. The JTWC indicates that this very strong typhoon will move south and southwest of Yap, then right over Palau…and onwards through the south and central Philippine Islands. Here's the JTWC graphical track map…along with a satellite image.

South Pacific Ocean:
  There are no active tropical cyclones

North and South Indian Oceans:  There are no active tropical cyclones

Interesting:  The Grand Canyon is 277 miles long, up to 18 miles wide and attains a depth of over a mile. It is huge but how old is it? How long did it take to be created? For over 150 years, geologists have debated how and when one of the most dramatic features on our planet—the Grand Canyon—was formed.

New data unearthed by researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) builds support for the idea that conventional models, which say the enormous ravine is 5 to 6 million years old, are way off. It might well be 70 million years old. Another study placed the origins of the canyon beginning some 17 million years ago.

Earlier estimates had placed the age of the canyon at 5 to 6 million years. That study, which was published in the journal Science in 2008, used uranium-lead dating to analyze calcite deposits found on the walls of nine caves throughout the canyon. In fact, the Caltech research points to a Grand Canyon that is many millions of years older than previously thought, says Kenneth A. Farley, Keck Foundation Professor of Geochemistry at Caltech and coauthor of the study.

"Rather than being formed within the last few million years, our measurements suggest that a deep canyon existed more than 70 million years ago," he says. Farley and Rebecca Flowers—a former postdoctoral scholar at Caltech who is now an assistant professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder—outlined their findings in a paper published in the November 29 issue of Science Express.

Building upon previous research by Farley's lab that showed that parts of the eastern canyon are likely to be at least 55 million years old, the team used a new method to test ancient rocks found at the bottom of the canyon's western section. Past experiments used the amount of helium produced by radioactive decay in apatite—a mineral found in the canyon's walls—to date the samples.

This time around, Farley and Flowers took a closer look at the apatite grains by analyzing not only the amount but also the spatial distribution of helium atoms that were trapped within the crystals of the mineral as they moved closer to the surface of the earth during the massive erosion that caused the Grand Canyon to form.

Rocks buried in the earth are hot—with temperatures increasing by about 25 degrees Celsius for every kilometer of depth—but as a river canyon erodes the surface downwards towards a buried rock, that rock cools. The thermal history—shown by the helium distribution in the apatite grains—gives important clues about how much time has passed since there was significant erosion in the canyon.

"If you can document cooling through temperatures only a few degrees warmer than the earth's surface, you can learn about canyon formation," says Farley, who is also chair of the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences at Caltech. The analysis of the spatial distribution of helium allowed for detection of variations in the thermal structure at shallow levels of Earth's crust, says Flowers.

That gave the team dates that enabled them to fine-tune the time frame when the Grand Canyon was incised, or cut. "Our research implies that the Grand Canyon was directly carved to within a few hundred meters of its modern depth by about 70 million years ago," she says. Now that they have narrowed down the when of the Grand Canyon's formation, the geologists plan to continue investigations into how it took shape.

The genesis of the canyon has important implications for understanding the evolution of many geological features in the western United States, including their tectonics and topography, according to the team. "Our major scientific objective is to understand the history of the Colorado Plateau—why does this large and unusual geographic feature exist, and when was it formed," says Farley.