EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT: The trade winds will be on the stronger and gusty side of the wind spectrum today. As we push into Thursday, we’ll begin to see a slightly lighter wind flow arriving over the islands…which will continue through the rest of this week. The winds aren’t going to be stopping completely by any means, although will mellow out a touch. We’ll likely find light to moderately strong trade winds continuing into the first day or two of next week.
The latest computer models are showing a cold front digging southward towards the tropics around the middle of next week. This in turn would turn our long lasting trade winds off, or slow them way down for several days. Some of the models are now showing a low pressure system forming to the northwest of the state. If, and this is still quite a large if, this were to happen, we could see southwest kona winds kick in, which could carry showers our way for several days…stay tuned for more about these two possibilities.
Meanwhile, the surf’s up along our south and west facing beaches. The NWS high surf advisory remains active on the southern leeward beaches, although will likely be dropped by Thursday. The north shores have some surf, as do the east facing beaches…although they’re quite a bit smaller. The south shore surf will be diminishing through the rest of the week, as usually happens this time of year. The north and west shores will become more and more active as we head deeper into our autumn season.
The NWS forecast office in Honolulu keeping the Red Flag Warning active for parts of the state, mainly the leeward sides. This is being caused by the combination of strong trade winds, low relative humidity, warm daytime temperatures, and the expectations for limited rainfall along those dry sides of the islands. This isn’t a forecast for fire, just noting the higher than normal risk for fires starting along those south and west facing coasts and slopes.
Click on the following link for the latest NWS advisories and warnings: Wind/Surf/Flood related advisories or warnings
Broad Overview of Hawaii’s Weather
Our trade winds will be locally quite strong and gusty, then mellow out a little Friday into the weekend. Glancing at this weather map, it shows a near 1028 millibar high pressure system to our north. East and west running ridges extend from the center of this high pressure cell, into the western and eastern Pacific. Small craft wind advisories are active over those windiest coasts and channels in Maui County and the Big Island. These strong trade winds will last into Thursday, with a slight weakening Friday into the weekend.
Trade winds continue…the following numbers represent the strongest gusts (mph), along with directions Wednesday afternoon:
30 Port Allen, Kauai – ESE
23 Kahuku, Oahu – NE
28 Molokai – NE
30 Kahoolawe – ESE
30 Kahului, Maui – NE
08 Lanai – WSW
33 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 Wednesday afternoon. Looking at this NOAA satellite picture we find low clouds generally offshore of the islands…although they are being carried over the islands at times. At the same time we see high cirrus clouds to our west and north, which have backed off quite a bit at the time of this writing. We can use this looping satellite image to see those low clouds moving along in the trade wind flow. There are those high level clouds coming our way from the west…although they’re over the ocean offshore from the islands for the moment. Checking out this looping radar image we see some showers over the ocean, moving along in the trade wind flow, impacting the windward sides at times…most notably over Oahu at this time.
Here are the 24-hour precipitation totals (inches) for each of the islands as of late Wednesday morning:
0.31 Kilohana, Kauai
0.07 South Fork Kaukonahua, Oahu
0.02 Oheo Gulch, Maui
0.02 Hilo airport, Big Island
Here is the latest NWS rainfall forecast
Here are the latest available satellite images:
SURF OUTLOOK: The north shores will find the current northwest swell slowly lowering Wednesday…the holding more or less steady into Thursday. Surf will still be on the large side Wednesday, then lowering Thursday on the south shores. The west shores will find good surf Wednesday and Thursday…some northwest and some south swell too. The wind swell along the east facing shores will remain small or slightly larger Wednesday and Thursday.
North shores – The northwest swells will keep surfing breaking into the weekend…generally small to medium in size.
West shores – The south swell will keep waves breaking along these beaches at midweek…then dropping through most of the rest of this week. The northwest swells will keep coming into the weekend.
South shores – The large south swell will remain in place Wednesday – keeping the high surf advisories going…then dropping Thursday onwards.
East shores – As the trade winds remain active, the wind swell waves will keep these beaches in choppy surf.