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

Lihue, Kauai –                          78  
Honolulu airport, Oahu –           78  
Molokai airport –                      80

Kahului airport, Maui –         82 

Kona airport     –                   82  

Hilo airport, Hawaii –                77

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 – 66

Haleakala Summit    48       (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.  The 2012 hurricane season is over in the eastern and central Pacific…resuming on May 15th and June 1st 2013.


Aloha Paragraphs

Rising large surf on our north and west shores,
  later today and Sunday…into Monday

Sunny to partly cloudy, cloudy afternoons in the upcountry
areas…a few limited showers – cool mornings

Our winds becoming lighter from the southeast
now into the weekend…locally

High surf warning for north and west shores of Niihau, Kauai,
 Oahu and Molokai, and along the north shores of Maui

Air temperature, at 603am HST Saturday morning, at my
upcountry Kula, Maui weather tower: 50.2F degrees 

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

12       Makaha Ridge, Kauai – SW
14       Waianae Valley, Oahu – SSW

13       Molokai – ESE
20       Kahoolawe – ESE
15       Lipoa, Maui – ENE 
M        Lanai – NE

21       Upolu airport, Big Island – NE

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


0.02          Mount Waialeale, Kauai
0.03          St. Stephens, Oahu

0.00          Molokai

0.00          Kahoolawe

0.15          Hana airport, Maui
1.34          Pahoa, 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 ~~~

Our winds are easing up and turning southeasterly now…and will remain so through the weekend. Here's a weather chart showing high pressure centers to our northeast. At the same time, we find low pressure systems over the ocean far to our northwest, with several cold fronts extending southward…over the ocean to the northwest and west of Kauai. We're already starting to see the return of volcanic haze (vog) as these southeast breezes continue, which was thick here on Maui before sunset. I should note, that folks down on the Big Island have localized volcanic haze much of the time, not just occasionally…like the rest of the island chain.

Generally fine weather, with just a few showers…will prevail through most of Monday.  Here's a satellite image, showing very clear skies in most areas of the state this evening, although  a few clouds and showers may eventually arrive over parts of the Big Island.  As the winds remain quite light today this weekend, there will be afternoon cumulus clouds developing over and around the mountains, although with just a few showers falling here and there. This light wind regime will prompt onshore daytime sea breezes, and offshore flowing land breezes at night.  This weather pattern will exist through Sunday, providing cool early morning temperatures, that will require that extra blanket on the bed…even at sea level!

As for that weak cold front, it will hold off arriving through Sunday, although it should bring showers our way later Monday into Tuesday…over some parts of the state at least. The computer models vary in their outlook, bringing the front only to Kauai…with others showing it reaching down all the way to the Big Island…we'll see. Chilly, and blustery north-northeast to northeast breezes will fill in behind the frontal passage by New Years Day, and then gradually warm up by the middle of next week. Besides the lighter winds now, the main thing will be the large pounding surf along our north and west facing beaches, arriving later Saturday through at least next Monday, be careful near the ocean in those areas! By the way, that large just past full moon will be beaming down lots of reflected light again tonight. I'll be back Saturday morning with your next new weather narrative. I hope you have a great Friday night wherever you're spending it. Aloha for now…Glenn.

Friday night film: There are several good films that I'm anxious to see, although they just opened in our local theaters. Thus, I decided to see one that's been around for a little while longer, and looks quite interesting. The one I picked for this evening is called Hitchcock, starring Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Biel, and James D'Arcy…among others. The synopsis: is a love story about one of the most influential filmmakers of the last century, Alfred Hitchcock and his wife and partner Alma Reville. The film takes place during the making of Hitchcock's seminal movie Psycho.   It's being billed as a drama, adaptation, biopic, and horror, this last word has me a bit worried I must admit. I haven't seen Anthony Hopkins in anything lately, and I usually like his acting very much. Helen Mirren is also typically very good, so with this inspired couple, I'm hoping it will be very good. I'll let you know what I thought tomorrow morning, and until then…here's the trailer.

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:  Tropical cyclone 05P (Freda) remains active in the southwest Pacific…located approximately 660 north-northwest of Noumea, New Caledonia. Sustained winds were 80 knots, with gusts to near 100 knots. This tropical cyclone will increase in strength, with 100 knot winds, and gusts to near 125 knots within 24 hours. Here's the JTWC graphical track map, along with a satellite image.

North and South Indian Oceans:  Tropical cyclone 06S (Mitchell) remains active in the south Indian Ocean…located approximately 290 NM northwest of Learmonth, Australia. Sustained winds were 40 knots, with gusts to near 50 knots. This tropical cyclone will maintain this strength for another 12 hours…then drop in strength over the ocean to the west of Australia.  Here's the JTWC graphical track map, along with a satellite image.

Interesting:   Wine gets it flavor from the grape itself, the climate of which the grapes are grown, and the wine making process. Therefore, vineyard management plays a crucial part in contributing to the final aromatic properties of a wine. With this, researchers are finding that a wide variety of microorganisms are also contributing to pre- and post-harvest grape quality and will essentially influence the final taste of a wine.

Researchers at Stellenbosch University in South Africa investigated the spatial distribution of microbial communities within vineyards of different farming systems- organic, traditional, and biodynamic. The data demonstrate that farming systems have a significant impact on fungal diversity but more importantly that there is significant species heterogeneity between samples in the same vineyard.

"In the wine industry, the fungal communities on grapes are especially important. The microbial species present on the berry may contribute to the fermentation process, and therefore the aromatic properties of the resulting wine", the authors explain. Cultivation-based methods confirmed that while the same oxidative yeast species dominated in all vineyards, the vineyard that was least treated with fungicides and pesticides displayed significantly higher species richness.

The data confirm previous results that biodynamic farming, (organic farming that emphasizes the interrelationships of the soil, plants, and animals as a self-sustaining system) leads to a higher microbial diversity. They found that the same yeast species dominated in all vineyards, but the least treated vineyard had more variety of fungal species than the other two.

Also, yeast species distribution is subject to spatial fluctuations and samples of grapes that were harvested at the same stage of ripeness showed differing microbiota due to the different sections from where they were collected in the vineyard. The research shows that intra-vineyard variability can be attributed to considerable amounts of both inter- and intra-row spatial heterogeneity.

This heterogeneity could be in part due to differences in immediate vine ecosystems and variation in inter-vine and intra-vine micro-climates. For instance, the relative position of vines within the vineyard results in differences in the amount of sunlight and temperature, which in turn would affect the growth and pigments of the grapes.

From a wine-making perspective, the data suggest that spatial fluctuations in microbial diversity might have a significant impact on downstream processes and analyses. The study's findings could help viti-culturalists and winemakers plan micro-harvest better, and implement better wine blending strategies to ensure a consistent batch and brand of wine.