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Dec
15
2011

Hawaii Weather Overview

Gradually increasing trade wind speeds into the weekend, continuing into next week…off and on passing showers along our windward sides…larger surf along our north and west shores.

PDC Global Hazards Atlas displaying cloud cover and 1 day precipitation accumulation...over and around the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaiian Weather Synopsis:  The overlying atmosphere has become more stable now, and as such our rainfall has pulled back to more normal levels.  Precipitation looks like it will remain about normal into the weekend, at least through Saturday. Part of the reason that it won’t turn wetter is that a cold front to the northwest, as shown on this satellite image, will stall before pushing down into the state. Meanwhile, that same satellite picture shows the recent high and middle clouds, now well offshore to our east and southeast of the Big Island. Skies look rather rain free upwind of the state, thus the prospect of nothing unusual in terms of heavy rainfall for the time being.

Looking a bit further ahead, later Friday into Saturday on Kauai, may get some showers from the stalled cold front, as they get drawn into that island on the strengthening trade winds. Then on later Sunday, an upper level weather feature may trigger some heavier showers for the Big Island, especially as we move into the new week ahead. It’s that time of when weather changes occur more frequently, so that adjustments to the outlook require attention. The prospect of increasing trade winds seems quite likely as the cold front to our northwest dissipates later Friday. The wild card perhaps continues to be what will happen with the upper level low pressure system that settles into the area south of the state Sunday or Monday. This will have more bearing on what actually manifests in our Hawaiian Island weather picture 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 1030 millibar high pressure systems located to the northeast of the Hawaiian Islands Thursday afternoon.  These high pressure cells have an elongated ridge that runs from the center west-southwest to the north of the state, which will keep our winds blowing. They continue to breeze along in the east-southeast to even southeast orientation or Kauai and Oahu, although will gradually become more easterly trade winds through Friday…then strengthening from the trade wind direction this weekend into early next week.

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

17                 Port Allen, Kauai – SE
22                 Bellows, Oahu – SE
28                 Molokai – ENE
42                 Kahoolawe – ENE
23                 Lipoa, Maui – SE
14                 Lanai – W
31                 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 Thursday afternoon. Looking at this NOAA satellite picture we find that the high and middle level clouds is well to the southeast of the Big Island…over the ocean. We can use this looping satellite image to see this high level moisture streaming up from the southwest…which continues to shift eastward…along with an approaching cold front to our northwest. Meanwhile, some lower level clouds around generally over the ocean to our southwest.  Otherwise, skies are clear to partly cloudy elsewhere, with some cloudy areas here and there. Checking out this looping radar image we see showers over the ocean, most of which are in the light to moderately heavy category, moving over the islands in places locally.

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

1.57               Mount Waialeale, Kauai
0.89               Manoa Lyon Arboretum, Oahu
0.25               Molokai
0.00               Lanai
0.02               Kahoolawe
0.93               Puu Kukui, Maui
1.00               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:  The north shores will gradually rise tonight into Friday…from a new northwest swell train of waves. The west sides will gradually rise into Friday as well…smaller. Surf along the east shores will remain active Thursday and Friday…gradually rising late Friday. South shores will be small to very small.

North shores –    A new northwest swell will arrive late Thursday into Friday…lasting for several days along these beaches. A second NW swell will arrive right after the weekend, keeping the surf up for several more days.

West shores –   A next batch of waves, although smaller than what we’ll find along our north shores, will arrive late  Thursday, with a second northwest swell arriving after the weekend.

South shores –    Surf will remain small to very small on these leeward shores

East shores –     As the trade winds increase Friday into the weekend, so will the wind swell into early next week.

NOAA animated wave model