Air Temperatures – The following high temperatures (F) were recorded across the state of Hawaii Thursday afternoon…along with the low temperatures Friday morning:

83 – 74  Lihue, Kauai
88 – 74  Honolulu, Oahu
8674  Molokai AP
91 – 76  Kahului AP, Maui – tied the old record high for Thursday (2019)
84 – 74  Kona AP, Hawaii
8466  Hilo, Hawaii 

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

1.60  Mount Waialeale, Kauai
0.57  Moanalua RG, Oahu
0.10  Molokai
0.00  Lanai
0.00  Kahoolawe
0.34  Puu Kukui, Maui
0.80  Lower Kahuku, Big Island

The following numbers represent the strongest wind gusts (mph) Friday afternoon:

24  Port Allen, Kauai
32  Kuaokala, Oahu
31  Molokai
30  Lanai
35  Kahoolawe
33  Maalaea Bay, Maui
27  South Point, Big Island

Hawaii’s MountainsHere’s a link to the live webcam on the summit of our tallest mountain Mauna Kea (~13,800 feet high) on the Big Island of Hawaii. Here’s the webcam for the (~10,023 feet high) Haleakala Crater on Maui, although it’s often not working correctly these days. These webcams are available during the daylight hours here in the islands, and at night whenever there’s a big moon shining down. Also, at night you will be able to see the stars, and the sunrise and sunset too…depending upon weather conditions.
Thunderstorms far southwest and southeast of the state…a cold front far northwest
Looping version of the image above

Low clouds moving into the state on the trades…some high clouds northwest of Kauai
Showers locally
Looping Radar Image
Looping Surface Precipitation…through the next 8-days

Please click this link…to see current Watches, Warnings and Advisories noted above

Hawaii Weather Narrative

Glenn’s Friday comments:
Glancing out the windows of my Kula weather tower late this morning, I see the usual gray cumulus clouds forming over the leeward slopes of the Haleakala Crater, although it appears not to be as thick as what we saw yesterday.

Broad Brush Overview: Our trade winds will continue, although likely soften somewhat Sunday and Monday. The refreshing breezes will continue to bring off and on periods of clouds and showers…which will generally influence windward areas during the night and early morning hours.

Details: The trades will prevail over the islands through the weekend into next week. However, a low and associated cold front passing by north of the state late Saturday into Monday, will lead to some weakening and veering of the winds…most notable over Kauai and Oahu.

The trade winds will carry low clouds and showers our way, primarily along the windward sides. The models suggest that a developing trough of low pressure over the weekend…will likely prompt another increase in windward showers.

Any slight reduction in wind speeds could allow a few leeward clouds and showers to develop over the smaller islands in the afternoons, in response to localized sea breezes coming ashore. Leeward Big Island can count on afternoon clouds and showers…that could linger into the night.

Looking Further Ahead: The models go on to depict strong to windy trade winds by the middle of next week…with the usual off and on passing windward showers. The leeward areas will see more sunshine during the days, with an occasional shower falling over the smaller islands.

Here’s a near real-time Wind Profile of the Pacific Ocean – along with a Closer View of the islands / Here’s the latest Weather Map

Marine Environmental Conditions: Moderate to strong trade winds will likely continue through the weekend over the eastern end of the state (Small Craft Advisory for the windy areas has been extended through Saturday).  

Models show a weakness in the ridge developing due to a passing front far north of the area Sunday into Monday, which could be enough for the trades to trend down into the moderate category over the western end. Trades will surge back into the strong category statewide by Wednesday as high pressure sets up north of the state.

Surf along south facing shores will continue to trend down, although hold steady around the summer average through the weekend, as another pulse fills in by Saturday. This will lower Sunday into early next week. A small southwest swell is expected by Wednesday, from recent activity across the Tasman Sea. Surf will respond and rise, although should remain below advisory levels from this source.

Surf along east facing shores will remain small and choppy due to moderate to strong trades locally and upstream across the eastern Pacific. An upward trend is likely through the second half of next week as the trades increase.

Surf along north facing shores will trend down…likely becoming flat for most beaches. No changes are anticipated into next week.

Trade wind weather conditions holding firm over the islands


World-wide Tropical Cyclone Activity

Here’s a link to the latest Pacific Disaster Center’s Weather Wall…covering the Atlantic, Caribbean Sea, and Gulf of Mexico

>>> Here’s a link to the latest Pacific Disaster Center’s
Weather Wall…covering the Pacific and Indian Oceans

Atlantic Ocean: There are no active tropical cyclones

Here’s a satellite image of the Atlantic Ocean

>>> Caribbean Sea: There are no active tropical cyclones

WSI satellite image of the Caribbean Sea

Latest satellite image of the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico

>>> Gulf of Mexico:

Tropical Cyclone 03L (Cristobal)…is located about 535 miles south of the mouth of the Mississippi River

Here’s what the computer models are showing

According to the NHC, Cristobal is moving toward the north near 13 mph (20 km/h), and this general motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days. On the forecast track, the center of Cristobal will move over the central Gulf of Mexico on Saturday, and be near the northern Gulf of Mexico coast on Sunday. Cristobal’s center is then forecast to move inland across Louisiana late Sunday and Monday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph (65 km/h) with higher gusts. Some strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours. Weakening will begin once Cristobal moves inland late Sunday and Monday. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 240 miles (390 km) from the center.

>>> Eastern Pacific: There are no active tropical cyclones

No tropical cyclones are expected during the next 5 days

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

>>> Central Pacific: There are no active tropical cyclones

No tropical cyclones are expected during the next 5 days

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

>>> Northwest Pacific Ocean: There are no active tropical cyclones

>>> South Pacific Ocean: There are no active tropical cyclones

>>> North and South Indian Oceans / Arabian Sea: There are no active tropical cyclones

Best-preserved dinosaur stomach ever found reveals ‘sleeping dragon’s’ last meal
– The last meal of the 3,000-lb. (1,360 kilograms) “sleeping dragon” dinosaur is so beautifully preserved, scientists now know exactly what the armored beast ate before it died about 112 million years ago, a new study finds.

Extraordinary circumstances left the remains of this giant dinosaur in pristine, lifelike condition. After it died, the body was swept out to sea, bloated with gas and remained afloat until it sank in an oxygen-poor area perfect for preservation; and its tough, boney armor likely deterred marine predators. 

Turns out, the nodosaur’s stomach contents were just as remarkably preserved as the rest of its body. An analysis of its fossilized soccer-ball-size stomach contents reveals that this dinosaur, known as Borealopelta markmitchelli, was an extremely picky eater. It ate ferns, but only certain types, and only select parts of those plants.

“These remains are amazingly well preserved. You can see the cellular detail of the plants,” study co-lead researcher Caleb Brown, a curator at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Alberta, Canada. “When we first looked at the slides under the microscope, it was one of those moments where it’s like ‘whoa.'”

Miners found the remains of the 18-foot-long (5.5 meters) nodosaur — a cousin of the Ankylosaurus — in 2011 at the Suncor Millennium Mine in Alberta. With only its tail and hind legs missing, the herbivorous beast is the most well-preserved armored dinosaur on record. 

While it’s more common to find the stomach remains of carnivorous dinosaurs (after all, the prey’s bones are often fossilized within the beast that ate it), it’s rare to find the fossilized remains of a herbivorous dinosaur’s last meal.

That’s “because often the preservational requirements to preserve bone are different than preserving plants,” Brown said. “So you’d have to have both of those occurring at the same time,” to preserve both the herbivore’s bones and its meals. Furthermore, it can be difficult to determine if fossilized plants were part of the dinosaur’s diet or simply at the spot where it died, he added.

There are only about 10 reported cases of herbivorous dinosaurs’ last meals, and “I’d say in two-thirds of those, there’s really no good evidence that they are stomach content,” Brown said. “They’re just leaves that got buried at the same time as the animal.”

As a result, it’s hard to know which species of plants, and what parts of those plants, that herbivorous dinosaurs ate. Enter B. markmitchelli; this dinosaur not only had good preservation but also was fossilized out at sea, away from land plants. In other words, it would be extremely unlikely that land ferns just happened to be in the marine environment where the dinosaur’s body came to rest. 

Fern nutritional reasons

To study the nodosaur’s last meal, researchers made slides out of a few ping pong-ball-size chunks of the fossilized stomach content. They found that leaves accounted for nearly 88% of the plant material, and less than 7% comprised stems and wood. Charcoal accounted for about 6%.

The majority of those leaves were from leptosporangiate ferns, with just a tiny amount from cycads (an ancient group of seed plants) and even less from conifers (modern conifers include plants with pine cones). 

“We recognized at least five different kinds of ferns from the microscopic sporangia [the place where spores form] in the stomach contents, but there were many more that we identified from spores dispersed in the stomach,” study co-lead researcher David Greenwood, a professor of biology at Brandon University in Manitoba, Canada, told Live Science in an email.

In particular, the researchers found sporangia with a specialized ring of thickened cells that acts as a spring to fling spores into the air, Greenwood said. This ring is found only in leptosporangiate ferns common today in gardens and woods. B. markmitchelli didn’t seem to favor eusporangiate ferns, which lack this ring, even though the ferns were common in the dinosaur’s stomping grounds, according to fossilized evidence. 

Nor did the dinosaur eat (at least according to fossil evidence) horsetails, cedar plants or tropical plants also in the area. To put it mildly, it looks like B. markmitchelli had very specific taste in plants. Just like a modern deer, “it selected which plant parts and which plants it ate,” Greenwood said.

Even so, this gut material “is a snapshot of what one dinosaur ate on one particular day,” said Karen Chin, an associate professor and a curator of paleontology at the University of Colorado Boulder, who was not involved in the research. “We have to avoid assuming that the gut contents are representative of the dinosaur’s everyday diet.”

What’s more, this dinosaur’s diet could have changed over its life span and as the seasons changed, Chin said.

Self medication?

The charcoal found in the nodosaur’s belly suggests the dinosaur consumed its last meal in a recently burned area. “Many animals today self-medicate by eating charcoal,” Greenwood said. “We don’t know if Borealopelta was doing that, but the charcoal in its stomach says it was eating its last meal in an area that had burnt in a wildfire in the last 6-18 months.

Perhaps, like many modern day grazing mammals, it preferred to eat in recently burned areas, as it was easier to move around and find newly growing, nutritious plants to eat, Greenwood noted.

Stones, also known as gastroliths, were also found in the gut and ranged from pea- to grape-size, Brown said. They were used to help the creature break down the fibrous plants it had eaten. This technique is seen in birds today. ( Birds evolved from carnivorous dinosaurs known as theropods.)

The stomach contents also revealed the season of death. Based on the woody stems’ growth rings and the mature sporangia, it appears that this dinosaur died during the late spring to mid-summer, the researchers found.