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Dec
05
2011

Hawaii Weather Overview

Light to moderately strong winds,  windward biased showers for the most part

PDC Global Hazards Atlas centered on the central Pacific Ocean near Hawaii is displaying 3 hour precipitation accumulations over the last three hours

Hawaiian Weather Synopsis:  The main emphasis this week will be the late autumn trade wind flow across the Hawaiian Islands. There will be minor fluctuations in the wind directions and speeds along the way, although in general…maintain a moderately strong stance. The computer models have continued to suggest that our local winds may accelerate some this weekend into early next week. This isn’t expected to be a big blow, although the trade winds will likely freshen up a notch or so. As usual, the windward sides will find the strongest breezes, while the leeward sides, at least in most areas, will have lighter winds.

As for precipitation, it will continue to arrive in an off and on manner, along our north and east facing windward coasts and slopes. There don’t appear to be any rainfall enhancing troughs of low pressure around for the time being. The leeward sides may see a few showers, although they will remain on the drier side of the precipitation spectrum. This will continue the drier than normal conditions that much of the state continues to experience so far this year. The models continue to show a trough of low pressure finally arriving this weekend, which could trigger somewhat wetter conditions in some areas then.

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

Details of Hawaii’s Weather – Wind/Precipitation/Surf

As this weather map shows, we find a strong 1038 millibar high pressure system located far to the northeast of the Hawaiian Islands Monday afternoon.  This high pressure cell is located offshore from the Columbia River mouth, between the Oregon and Washington borders.  Meanwhile, we see a weaker 1027 millibar high to the north-northwest of the islands. At the same time, we see a 1016 millibar gale low pressure system to the north of Hawaii…straddling the 40 degree line of latitude. This low has a frontal cloud band extending from its center south and southwest of the island of Kauai.

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

22                 Port Allen, Kauai – E
21                 Kahuku, Oahu – ENE
21                 Molokai – NE
00                 Kahoolawe – E
24                 Lip0a, Maui – E
00                 Lanai – NE
29                 South 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 that high and middle level cloudiness are located over the ocean to the southwest, south and east…extending over most of the state from Maui County to the Big Island. We can use this looping satellite image to see low clouds being carried over the islands on the trade wind flow here and there. At the same time, we find a considerable amount of thunderstorm activity far to our southeast over the ocean, with more high cirrus clouds approaching Kauai from the north-northwest. A weak cold front is located over the ocean to the northwest of Kauai, but shouldn’t make it down into our tropical latitudes. Checking out this looping radar image we see showers over the ocean, most of which are in the light to moderately heavy category. The most active precipitation areas are coming into the Big Island and Maui’s windward sides…and towards Oahu at the time of this writing as well. 

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

0.06               Mount Waialeale, Kauai
0.19               Manoa Lyon Arboretum, Oahu
0.01               Molokai
0.00               Lanai
0.08               Kahoolawe
0.42               Puu Kukui, Maui
1.11               Mountain View, 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:   Surf along the east shores will remain active although small Monday and Tuesday. The north shores will gradually lower Monday, and then come back up from the northwest during the day Tuesday. The west sides will be lowering along these beaches as well, then up again Tuesday. South shores will be small to very small through Tuesday.

North shores –   The current north-northwest swell will gradually lower through Monday. The next large northwest swell will arrive Tuesday…remaining active for several days. A following slightly larger west-northwest swell will arrive Thursday, remaining large into the weekend.

West shores –   These beaches will be dropping down in size through Monday. The next northwest swell will arrive Tuesday…with another larger west-northwest swell Thursday into Friday and Saturday.

South shores –    Surf will be small to very small for the time being

East shores –  Surf remaining small with wind swell waves breaking…through the first part of the new week. The trade winds may surge again around Thursday, with rising wind swell into the weekend.

NOAA animated wave model

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