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Nov
15
2011

Hawaii Weather Overview


Hawaiian Weather Synopsis:
 
Our mid November weather remains very nice for this time of year, with lots of generally clear skies, and limited rainfall. This fairly routine weather pattern will hold firm through the day, and then begin to become cloudier as we move into Wednesday. As this satellite image shows, our skies are mostly clear to partly cloudy, although if we glance to the west…we see high and middle level clouds looming! These clouds are associated with an upper level low pressure trough, which will drop a low pressure system to the west of Kauai later Wednesday into Thursday. This low will bring colder air temperatures aloft then, which may destabilize the atmosphere over the state, especially near Kauai for a few days. This in turn may prompt some enhancement to our local showers…depending upon how close it gets.

Meanwhile, our trade winds are fairly light at the moment, although there are some stronger gusts in those typically windier locales. These trade winds will remain with us through Wednesday, although will accelerate starting Thursday, and remain stronger and gusty through the weekend into early next week. As these stronger trade winds arrive, thanks to a strengthening high pressure system to the north-northeast, they will help to carry moisture our way. The main benefit from these passing showers will be the windward sides, and around the Kauai end of the state potentially too. If the winds gain enough speed, some of this precipitation will be carried over into the leeward sides of the islands as well. As the air will be cold later this week, there may be some light snow falling atop the tall mountains on the Big Island then too.

 

PDC Global Hazards Atlas showing the Hawaiian Islands...with the Global Clouds feature active

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

As this weather map shows, we find a 1032 millibar high pressure system located about 2/3’s of the way towards the west coast…to the northeast of the Hawaiian Islands this afternoon. This high pressure cell has an elongated ridge extending from its western flank, which continues into the area 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 moment. Our trade winds will build in strength after mid-week, remaining on the strong and gusty side into early next week.

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

16                 Port Allen, Kauai – SE
16                 Kahuku, Oahu – ENE
23                 Molokai – SW
27                 Kahoolawe – ESE
16                 Lipoa, Maui- ESE
06                 Lanai – W
24                 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 Tuesday afternoon. Looking at this NOAA satellite picture we find a minimal amount of low cloudiness over and around the islands, with the majority of that coming into the windward sides at the time of this writing. We can use this looping satellite image to see thunderstorm cells firing off far to our southwest, south, southeast, and northeast. Meanwhile, there are considerable high clouds getting ready to ride in over us from the west. Checking out this looping radar image we see very few showers over the ocean, the majority of which are located to the southeast of the Big Island again today.

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

0.60               Mount Waialeale, Kauai
0.04               Punaluu Pump, Oahu
0.00               Molokai
0.00               Lanai
0.00               Kahoolawe
0.00               Kahakuloa, Maui
0.39               Saddle Quarry, 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:   Small conditions on all shores through Friday…locally flat

North shores –   Very small surf…with a possible northwest swell this weekend

West shores –   Very small to flat surf…with a possible bump from the new NW swell this weekend

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