Air Temperatures The following maximum temperatures (F) were recorded across the state of Hawaii Wednesday:

78  Lihue, Kauai
82  Honolulu, Oahu
76  Molokai
80  Kahului, Maui
86  Kailua Kona
79  Hilo, Hawaii

Air Temperatures ranged between these warmest and coolest spots near sea level – and on the highest mountain tops on Maui and the Big Island…as of 610pm Wednesday evening:


Kailua Kona – 81
Kahului, Maui
– 70

Haleakala Summit –   50
(near 10,000 feet on Maui)
Mauna Kea Summit – 39 (13,000+ 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.


Aloha Paragraphs

Locally gusty
trade winds through tonight…with lighter
winds Thursday and Friday into the weekend – gradually
becoming southeast with voggy skies locally – trades
return early next week

Showers falling locally along our windward sides at
times…a few elsewhere – upcountry afternoon showers
take over Friday into weekend

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

22  Port Allen, Kauai – NE
32  Kuaokala, Oahu – NE
23  Molokai – NE
32  Lanai – NE
28  Kahoolawe – N
25  Kahului,
Maui – NE
29  Kealakomo, Big Island – N

Here are the latest 24-hour precipitation totals (inches) for each of the islands…as of Wednesday evening (545pm totals):

1.94  Kilohana, Kauai
1.62  Kahana, Oahu
0.21  Molokai
0.00  Lanai
0.00  Kahoolawe
1.41  Hana airport, Maui
2.32  Island Dairy, 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 image… and finally the latest looping radar image for the Hawaiian Islands.

~~~ Hawaii Weather Narrative ~~~

The trade winds will become lighter into the weekend, from the southeast with time…then returning early next week. Here’s the latest weather map, showing the Hawaiian Islands, and the rest of the North Pacific Ocean, along with a real-time wind profile of the central Pacific…focused on the Hawaiian Islands. ~~~ We see a moderately strong, near 1026 millibar high pressure system to the northwest of our islands. A tail-end of a weak cold front/trough is now over the islands, whose parent low is located well northeast of the state. Our local trade winds have been quite gusty, although have eased up enough…that the small craft wind advisory has been cancelled. Looking ahead, the winds will ease up again Thursday and Friday into the weekend, as another cold front approaches the state…followed by another increase in trade winds early next week.

Satellite imagery shows quite a few clouds over and around the windward sides of the state…while the leeward beaches remain quite clear.
Looking at this larger satellite image, which is in the looping mode, we see high cirrus clouds moving by from west to east, generally to our north and south…with a few wisps coming through the state locally. Meanwhile, much of the lower level clouds are associated with a ragged frontal cloud band…which is simply a surface trough at this point. This weather feature is draped over the windward sides of the state, and will bring off and on showers our way for the time being. These showers aren’t going to drop any heavy showers however, although will bring welcome moisture our way locally for the next day or two. Here’s a looping radar image, showing showers falling over the islands locally, certainly a bit more than normal…compared to a typical trade wind day.

Our winds will soon be tapering off in strength, as the next late season cold front approaches the state. Looking into this upcoming weekend, the models show this cold front approaching the state, although migrating by to the north of the islands. At the same time, it will cause our winds to slow down again, before increasing again early next week. This lighter wind episode will likely come in from the southeasterly direction…potentially carrying volcanic haze up over the smaller islands with time. Even further ahead, it appears that we’ll ease back into a fairly normal May trade wind weather pattern. I’ll be back early Thursday morning with your next new weather narrative from paradise, I hope you have a great Wednesday night wherever you’re spending it! Aloha for now…Glenn.

Here on Maui, at the 3,100 foot elevation, at my upper Kula, Maui weather tower, the air temperature was 57.2 degrees at 6am on this Wednesday morning. Skies are partly cloudy, with calm winds, and no showers in this area. Glancing over towards the windward sides however, it looks like there are some showers falling…which can be verified by this radar image.
It looks as if the island of Oahu is receiving the greatest rainfall at the time of this writing…with most of the precipitation occurring over the ocean at the moment otherwise. The leeward beaches around the state will find the best weather today, although even there, and especially on Oahu…some showers could be carried there on the locally gusty winds today.

Here on Maui early this afternoon, at 1205pm, it was clear to partly cloudy, depending upon which way I look. The winds are light, with an air temperature of 77 degrees at the moment. The frontal cloud band or shearline, is draped over Oahu today, at least thus far. It has been dropping showers there…although other areas in the state are picking up rainfall at times too. I see the largest 24 hour total has occurred down on the Big Island with 2.16″ at the Island Dairy gauge. There are several other 1+ inch amounts on most of the other islands as well, although many areas remain well removed from showers of any kind.

We’re now moving through the early evening hours, at 605pm, under partly cloudy skies, light breezes…and a warm air temperature of 77.4 degrees. Interestingly enough, the air temperature at the Kahului airport at 6pm was 7+ degrees cooler than here at the 3,100 foot elevation in Kula…due to the clouds and showers down there! There’s a big difference between the windward and leeward sides here on Maui, with considerable clouds and passing showers along our north and east windward coasts and slopes. The majority of this cloudiness has been brought our way thanks to the frontal cloud band, which has been bringing showers to all the islands recently. This moisture will likely stick around for a while longer, through Thursday at least, and perhaps even into Friday morning. As we get into the later part of this work week, our winds will ease up enough, that we’ll begin to see clouds increasing around the mountains during the afternoons, leading to upcountry showers. The winds will bottom-out in strength during the weekend, as a cold front moves by to our north. This will swing our winds around to the southeast, with a good chance of volcanic haze (vog) spreading across the smaller islands in the chain.

World-wide tropical cyclone activity:

Atlantic Ocean:
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1st through November 30th.
Here’s the 2013 hurricane season summary

Here’s a
satellite image of the Atlantic Ocean

Caribbean Sea:

Gulf of Mexico:

Here’s a satellite image of the Caribbean Sea…and the Gulf of Mexico.

Here’s the link to the National Hurricane Center (NHC)

Eastern Pacific:
The Eastern Pacific hurricane season runs from May 15th through November 30th. Here’s the 2013 hurricane season summary

Here’s a wide satellite image that covers the entire area between Mexico, out through the central Pacific…to the International Dateline.

Central Pacific Ocean:
The Central Pacific hurricane season runs from June 1st through November 30th. Here’s the 2013 hurricane season summary

Here’s a link to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center (CPHC)

North Pacific Ocean: Tropical Cyclone 06W (Tapah) is active in the northwestern Pacific. Here’s the JTWC graphical track map of this strengthening tropical storm…along with a NOAA satellite image.

South Pacific Ocean:
There are no active tropical cyclones

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

Here’s a link to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC)

Interesting: Gardens in space – Catching floating raindrops, soil and seeds are making gardening just that much harder in the International Space Station. But this is how the astronauts function in their weightless environment. Even the plants don’t know which way to grow. Without gravity the soil and water simply float away unless contained; plant roots grow every which way. Without gravity the plant doesn’t know what is up or down. There is no rising or setting sun, just a 24 hour a day grow light.

But as Spacex-3 blasted off from Cape Canaveral on April 18th, there was a growing new hope. Gioia Massa of the Kennedy Space Center leading the new team says, “We call it ‘Veggie’, a plant growth chamber designed to make gardens thrive in weightlessness.”

Veggie’s heritage traces back decades to plant experiments on board the Russian space station Mir and NASA’s space shuttle. To date, NASA astronauts have never tasted home-grown space food. But that could soon change with something called ‘plant pillows’.

“Basically, these are bags of ‘space dirt’ and slow-release fertilizer,” explains Trent Smith, the project manager from KSC. “Wicks inserted into the bags draw water into the soil where it cannot float away.”

In addition to guiding water, the wicks act as a kind of gardening stake.

“The wicks are where we glue the seeds,” continues Massa. “We have to be very careful to orient the seeds so that roots grow ‘down’ into the soil and shoots pop out of the bag.”

When the shoots emerge, they find an array of overhead LEDs, providing light for photosynthesis and a sense of direction. The bellows-like chamber walls allow expansion for the growing crop.

Pictures of Veggie often show the chamber flooded with a mixture of red and blue light the color plants use most for photosynthesis. Under a purplish light, plants appear gray and unappetizing. But by adding green light the new light becomes white giving the garden a better effect.

The garden’s appearance is important for both psychologically and nutritionally. Spaceships provide a relatively lifeless environment: cold, metallic and sterile. “Plants allow astronauts to form a connection to living things,” she says. “There could be a huge psychological benefit.”

Massa says the first crop of Outredgeous should be ready for harvesting in late May, but astronauts won’t be allowed to taste-test.

“First, we have to bring the lettuce home for analysis,” she explains. Is it safe to eat? Are there bacteria growing on the leaves? “These are some of the questions we’ll be looking at. If everything checks out, future crops may be eaten.”

Salad anyone?