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Nov
14
2011

Hawaii Weather Overview


Hawaiian Weather Synopsis:  As this weather map shows, we find a large and rather strong 1034 millibar high pressure system located far to the northeast of the Hawaiian Islands this afternoon. This high pressure cell has an elongated ridge extending from its southwestern flank, which continues into the area north and northwest of Kauai. At the same time, there are two low pressure systems located to the north and northwest of Hawaii. There are cold fronts that are associated with these low pressure centers, which are helping to limit the strength of our local trade winds…at least for the time being. This in turn is keeping small craft wind advisory trade wind speeds down across our area

This wind flow is measuring in between gentle to moderately strong, and should remain that way likely into Wednesday. The computer model output strengthens this high pressure system to our northwest thereafter, with a resultant increase in the trade winds through the second half of this week. As we get into Thursday, and continuing through the weekend, we will see small craft wind advisory flags going up in the major channels, at least around Maui County and the Big Island…and potentially beyond these borders. Besides the stronger winds, the east sides of the islands, those windward sections, will find rough and rising surf then too.

As for precipitation, it will be rather limited for the time being, with generally drier than normal conditions prevailing, even along the windward sides. There will be a rather distinct change in this reality by later Wednesday or Thursday, caused by not only the increased trade wind speeds, but also the arrival of an atmospheric destabilizing upper level low pressure too. This will help to enhance our windward biased showers, while the stronger winds will probably carry some of this rainfall over into the leeward sides on the smaller islands. Looking even further ahead, there don’t appear to be any cold fronts that will be approaching the islands from the northwest through next Tuesday…despite it being the time of year for those fronts to begin arriving.

 

PDC Global Hazards Atlas showing Hawaii in the central Pacific...with 3 hour rainfall accumulations.

Click on the following link for the latest National Weather Service advisories and warnings: Wind/Surf/Flood related advisories or warnings

Broad Overview of Hawaii’s Weather

The following numbers represent the strongest wind gusts (mph), along with directions early Monday afternoon:

14                 Port Allen, Kauai – SE
16                 Kahuku, Oahu – ENE
07                 Molokai – NNE
20                 Kahoolawe
20                 Lipoa, Maui- ENE
00                 Lanai – ENE
25                 Upolu Point, Big Island – NE

We can use the following links to see what’s going on in our area of the north central Pacific Ocean early Monday afternoon. Looking at this NOAA satellite picture we find a minimal amount of low cloudiness over and around the islands, with the majority of it coming into the windward sides…especially the Big Island at the time of this writing. We can use this looping satellite image to see a counterclockwise rotating low pressure system well to our north. There are also some high cirrus clouds being transported eastward, just to the south and southwest of the islands. Checking out this looping radar image we see a few showers over the ocean, the majority of which are located to the southeast of the Big Island.

Here are the 24-hour precipitation totals (inches) for each of the islands as of late Monday morning:

0.48               Kapahi, Kauai
0.88               Oahu Forest NWR, Oahu
0.00               Molokai
0.00               Lanai
0.00               Kahoolawe
0.02               Kahakuloa, Maui
0.30               Glenwood, Big Island

Here is the latest NWS rainfall forecast

Here are the latest available satellite images:

Hawaii Infrared satellite image
Animated Satellite image of Hawaii region
Latest satellite image – Close-in visible satellite view
Latest radar image – Looping

SURF OUTLOOK:  The current north-northeast swell will drop on both the east and north shores Monday, with small conditions on all shores through Tuesday

North shores –  Small surf for the time being…with a possible northwest swell this coming weekend

West shores –  Small surf for the time being…with a possible bump from the new NW swell described above

South shores –  Small to very small surf…locally flat

East shores –   Smaller surf…then picking up after mid-week as the new surge of trade winds arrive

NOAA animated wave model