Trade winds will remain strong and gusty, reaching up between 40 to 50 mph in those windiest areas on the eastern islands, continuing through the rest of this week into next week, passing windward showers at times…a few spreading over into the leeward sides
Hawaiian Weather Synopsis: The local trade winds are slightly, ever so slightly lighter today than they have been this week so far. The last several days have seen winds peaking out near 50 mph in at least one place, on the small island of Lanai in Maui County. There have been gusts regularly well up into the upper 30 mph range, with lots of lower to middle 40 mph mark around in other places too. Today we find that the winds may have, or have thus far at least, slacked-off perhaps 5 mph in general. The high pressure system to our northeast has weakened a little, while a new high pressure system to our northwest, is pushing a weak cold front generally down in our direction. This has prompted this very slight reduction in the trade wind speeds, although at the same time, we continue to see no end in sight for these winds into early next week. Looking a bit further ahead, we should see a more noticeable weakening of our long lasting trade wind speeds as we move through the remaining days of next week…leading up to the New Years festivities. We don’t want our winds to slack-off completely however, as we could see problems with fireworks smoke on New Years eve if that happened.
Rainfall has continued to be an issue, although most notably on the Big Island’s windward sides, and to a degree over into the windward side of Maui too. Oahu’s received some decent showers over the last several days, although those eastern islands have had by far the most plentiful rainfall. The rainfall of late, most notably along our windward sides, has finally backed-off quite a bit today. There are still some showers around, although if we glance that this looping radar image, we see that the majority of the showers are over the ocean to the south of the Big Island, and taking aim on Oahu, perhaps Kauai later today. The NWS office in Honolulu continues to call for more passing shower activity through the weekend, so we’ll see if these showers actually do get fired-up again as we move into our Christmas holiday weekend. The summits on the Big Island have had a good amount of snow falling periodically the last few days, although the winter weather advisory has been pulled now. Nonetheless, as this Mauna Kea webcam shows, there is still some of the white stuff up topside.
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 have a near 1029 millibar high pressure system located far to the northeast of the Hawaiian Islands Thursday afternoon. This high pressure cell has a ridge that runs southwest from its center, into the area north of the state. At the same time, we find a surface trough of low pressure to the south-southwest of the islands, which is helping to enhance the strength of our local trade wind speeds. These trade winds are expected to continue through the rest of this week…into the first part of next week.
The following numbers represent the strongest wind gusts (mph), along with directions Thursday afternoon:
31 Lihue, Kauai – NE
39 Waianae Valley, Oahu – ESE
35 Molokai – NE
45 Kahoolawe – E
35 Kaupo Gap, Maui – NE
37 Lanai – NE
45 Waikoloa, 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 are located to the through southeast and east of the islands at this hour. We can use this looping satellite image to see towering cumulus and thunderstorms developing over the ocean to the southeast of the Big Island. Checking out this looping radar image we see showers over the ocean, most of which are light to moderately heavy, although some are heavier coming in over the islands…most notably to the southeast of the Big Island.
Here are the 24-hour precipitation totals (inches) for each of the islands as of late Thursday morning:
1.42 Kilohana, Kauai
0.65 Oahu Forest NWR, Oahu
2.21 Puu Kukui, Maui
5.90 Saddle Quarry, Big Island
Here is the latest NWS rainfall forecast
Here are the latest available satellite images:
SURF OUTLOOK: The north shores will be generally small surf Thursday and Friday. The west sides will be small through Friday as well. Surf along the east shores will remain rough and choppy both days…as the strong trade winds continue. South shores will be very small through the next two days.
North shores – Small to lower medium northwest swells will keep waves breaking through most of this week…choppy ocean conditions continuing. A new somewhat larger northwest swell arrive Sunday into next Monday.
West shores – Generally small northwest swells will keep these beaches active, although smaller than the north shores as usual.
South shores – Surf will remain very small on these leeward shores
East shores – Wind swell continues…rough and choppy