Hawaiian Weather Synopsis: The well advertised cold front, albeit not a strong one, continues to steadily work its way southward towards the islands…on this last day of the work week. It’s arrival, with showers and gusty northeast winds, will be first on Kauai and Oahu later today into the night. Maui County will find these showers and stronger winds tonight into the morning. The Big Island will find this temporary inclement mix of showers and wind arriving in the morning. Maui and the Big Island will likely find the cloud band becoming hung up along the north and northeast facing slopes on those larger islands during a good portion of the day Saturday.
This satellite image shows the cold front well, whose leading edge isn’t very far away from Kauai at the time of this writing. It is expected to bring near an inch of precipitation to those wettest places in the state, with the chance of a bit more than that in a couple of those especially rainfall prone areas. As the winds will be rather strong and gusty preceding the front, with the front, and temporarily in the wake of the frontal passage…some of these showers are likely to fly over into the leeward sides of islands, especially on the smaller islands. Drier air is forecast to flood into the state later Saturday, along with slightly cooler air briefly too.
As we move into Sunday, and through the middle of the new week ahead, our gusty trade winds will ease up quite a bit. So, it looks like rather nice weather will prevail until the next cold front arrives at some point around next Wednesday or Thursday. There remains quite a bit of uncertainty around that next cold front however, so that no one really knows whether it will stall before arriving, or whether an attendant low pressure system aloft may support its progress down into the islands. This should become more clear over the next several days…stay tuned. Nonetheless, this is the time of year when we’ll be keeping our eye peeled to the north and northwest, as storms in the middle latitudes of the Pacific begin sending more fronts our way more often.
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
Our trade winds will blow in the light to moderately strong range today…then increase later today into Saturday. Glancing at this weather map, it shows a 1033 millibar high pressure system to our north. There’s a cold front just to our north, which this high pressure system is helping to push towards the state. The trade winds will surge temporarily later in the day into Saturday, forcing the front down into the state this evening into Saturday. A slightly cooler air mass will rush in over the state along with and in the wake of this frontal passage…through Saturday night. Light to moderately strong trade winds will continue well into the new week. As a second cold front approaches from the north and northeast later next week…our winds may slow down ahead it, then increase again after its passage.
Trade winds continue…the following numbers represent the strongest gusts (mph), along with directions Friday afternoon:
27 Lihue, Kauai – NE
27 Honolulu, Oahu – NE
25 Molokai – NE
27 Kahoolawe – ESE
29 Kahului, Maui – NE
25 Lanai – NE
32 Kawaihae, Big Island – NE
We can use the following links to see what’s going on in our area of the north central Pacific Ocean Friday afternoon. Looking at this NOAA satellite picture we find an approaching band of low clouds, the cold front, a short ways offshore to the north and northeast of the islands…moving steadily towards us. We can use this looping satellite image to see that frontal cloud band moving along in the northeast wind flow. Checking out this looping radar image we see showers over the ocean, which are impacting the windward sides locally…especially moving towards Kauai and Oahu at the time of this writing.
Here are the 24-hour precipitation totals (inches) for each of the islands as of late Friday morning:
0.18 Kilohana, Kauai
0.58 Manoa Lyon Arboretum, Oahu
0.68 Puu Kukui, Maui
0.36 Kamuela Upper, Big Island
Here is the latest NWS rainfall forecast
Here are the latest available satellite images:
SURF OUTLOOK: The north shores will find choppy north to northeast swells Friday into Saturday. Surf along the south shores will flat to small through Saturday. The west shores will find smaller surf Friday into Saturday. The wind swell along the east facing shores will rise later Friday into Saturday…augmented by a new northeast swell train of waves.
North shores – The northwest swell will drop a bit more during the day Friday. These beaches will receive another boost, this time from the northeast during the weekend.
West shores – The northwest swells will be dropping into the weekend
South shores – The recent late season south swell activity will be much less active now, becoming very small or less. There’s an outside chance of a modest bump again this weekend.
East shores – As the trade winds increase later Friday into Saturday, so will the associated wind swell. A northeast swell this weekend will bring the surf up along these beaches too.