The latest update to this website was at 614pm Thursday, May 13, 2021

Air Temperatures – The following high temperatures (F) were recorded across the state of Hawaii Thursday afternoon…along with these low temperatures Thursday morning:

82 73  Lihue, Kauai
86 – 73  Honolulu, Oahu
82 – 70  Molokai AP
84 – 71  Kahului AP
83 – 74  Kona AP, Hawaii
84 – 72  Hilo, Hawaii

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

0.41  Mount Waialeale, Kauai
0.10   Waihee Pump, Oahu
0.23  Molokai
0.00  Lanai
0.00  Kahoolawe
0.96  West Wailuaiki, Maui

0.86  Kealakekua, Big Island

The following numbers represent the strongest wind gusts (mph) Thursday:

28  Port Allen, Kauai
27  Kuaokala, Oahu
29  Molokai
35  Lanai
35  Kahoolawe
33  Maalaea Bay, Maui
32  South Point, Big Island

Hawaii’s MountainsHere’s a link to the live webcam on the summit of our tallest mountain Mauna Kea (~13,800 feet high) on the Big Island of Hawaii. Here’s the webcam for the (~10,023 feet high) Haleakala Crater on Maui. These webcams are available during the daylight hours here in the islands, and at night whenever there’s a big moon shining down. Also, at night you will be able to see the stars, and the sunrise and sunset too…depending upon weather conditions.



Band 13 - 10.3 µm - Clean Longwave Window - IR - 04 May 2021 - 0430 UTC
Lots of active thunderstorms well south of the state
Low clouds being carried our way on the trade wind flow

Showers falling locally…mostly windward

Model showing precipitation
through 8-days (you can slow this animation down)
Hawaii is on the 3rd line down from the top…and the 1st line to the right of the middle line (lightning is the blue dots)

Please click this link…to see current Watches, Warnings and Advisories noted above

~~~ Hawaii Weather Narrative ~~~


Glenn’s comments: I’m in northern California, although will continue to update this website on a daily basis.

(May 6) I flew from Kahului to San Francisco yesterday, and took the airporter up to Marin County last night. I’m staying at my friend Linda’s, who owns a place in Haiku, Maui…and here in Corte Madera (not far over the Golden Gate Bridge). The weather is perfect, and it’s a treat to be on vacation for a while! Late afternoon on this first full day, a cool breeze has arrived, preceding an approaching cold front…a dry frontal passage. Nonetheless, I enjoy knowing that a front is heading towards me.

(May 7) After being hunkered down in upper Kula, Maui for the last 15 months, as you can see I’ve ventured out, and am visiting California. Today here in Marin County it is so beautiful, and it’s finally sinking in that I’m on a vacation, and I must say…I love it! The weather could hardly have been nicer today, cool breeze with warm sunshine. At 10pm, the temperature here has dropped to 53.9 degrees.

(May 8) The weather here in Marin County just continues to be perfectly lovely! By the way, can you imagine how wonderful it is to be on vacation? I was getting up at 415am every morning, yes on the weekends too, for the last 15 months. It’s so nice to get up just when I feel like it, which happens to be around 630am here in California! Now at 315pm, the temperature is all the way up to 88 degrees…geez! It’s finally sinking in that I’m away from upcountry east Maui, and here in northern California, and I’m really enjoying these middle latitude weather conditions.

(May 9) Yet another near perfect day here in Marin, with clear skies…and a few wisps of high cirrus clouds. I’ve been helping my friend Linda work in her yard, and looking around this neighborhood, lots of families are out doing stuff in their yards as well…the weather is supporting all kinds of outdoor activities. Happy Mother’s Day all you Mom’s out there!

(May 10) These clear dry days just keep rolling along, which of course provides lovely warm weather to northern California again today. I must say, that it continues to worry me about how historically dry it is, which could very well lead to an active fire season ahead.

(May 11) I’m still getting used to the fact that everyday continues to be so great, from a weather perspective. Clear cool mornings give way to sunny and warm afternoons, with no clouds…much less rain. Today, after a heat spell since I arrived, the cool sea breezes are back! It’s slightly chilly in the shade, and warm in the sunshine…I like it!
My friend Bob, who lives in Bend, Oregon, is driving down to Linda’s house for a visit, I haven’t seen him for over two years.

(May 12) This morning early I see the first low clouds of my trip, which are draped over the coastal hills just west of where I’m at. Otherwise, skies are dawning generally clear and sunny. My friends Linda and Bob and I, will be taking the drive over to Tennessee Valley, for a walk out to the beach this morning. It’s a cool day, with a rather brisk wind coming in through the Golden Gate, and then shooting east, north and south from there. The nice part is that the sunshine is so warm and comforting.

(May 13) Low clouds cover the Bay area this morning, with an air temperature of 49 degrees early on in the day…compared to 41 degrees yesterday, what with the clear skies overhead then. My friend Bob and I have driven up to our friend Greg’s in west Sebastopol. It’s turned chilly with thick fog here, with a temperature in the 40’s at 9pm.


Broad Brush Overview: Surface high pressure located far north of the island chain, will maintain moderate to locally strong trade winds through this weekend. Low clouds and passing trade showers will continue to favor windward and mountain areas, while brief showers are possible over some leeward sections.

Details: Weather maps show a high is centered far north-northeast of Hawaii, with its associated ridge extending southwest through a point well north of us. The tight pressure gradient south of these features is maintaining moderate to locally strong trade winds…in the vicinity of the island chain.

Aloft, an upper-level trough is evident northeast of the islands. At the same time, a weak trough is moving down across the islands. The trades are carrying low clouds with some embedded showers into windward sides of the islands. In addition, the trades are strong enough to transport a few showers leeward on some of the smaller islands.

Models indicate high pressure will remain in place far north of the state through this weekend. As a result, look for moderate to locally strong trades to persist. The models also indicate the upper-level low and trough will stall, and remain northeast of the islands into Sunday. By early next week, the upper low will likely lift out to the northeast and away.

The relatively close proximity of the upper low and trough, may provide some enhancement to low clouds and trade showers into this weekend. However, the models are showing a decrease in the low-level moisture sources upstream of the state later this week. If so, this would potentially limit the actual cloud cover and precipitation as we head into the weekend.

Another trough swinging down across the area late this weekend, could help to enhance shower activity, if there’s sufficient moisture coinciding with the arrival of this feature. The current forecast still shows a typical trade wind weather pattern this weekend…unless we see increased shower activity then.

Here’s a near real-time Wind Profile of the Pacific Ocean – along with a Closer View of the islands / Here’s the latest Weather Map.  Here’s the animated volcanic emissions graphic

Marine Environmental Conditions: A Small Craft Advisory remains in effect for the windier waters around Maui and the Big Island through Friday afternoon, thanks to persistent high pressure north of the Hawaiian Islands. Surf will remain up along south shores as a series of overlapping small swells pass by. East shores will experience small swell and choppy wind wave conditions, due to persistent moderate to strong trades. Surf along north shores will remain low as a northwest swell fades. | County Governments


World-wide Tropical Cyclone Activity


>>> Here’s a link to the latest Pacific Disaster Center’s Weather Wall…covering the Pacific and Indian Oceans


Atlantic Ocean: Routine issuance of the Tropical Weather Outlook will resume on June 1, 2021. During the off-season, Special Tropical Weather Outlooks will be issued as conditions warrant.

Caribbean: Routine issuance of the Tropical Weather Outlook will resume on June 1, 2021. During the off-season, Special Tropical Weather Outlooks will be issued as conditions warrant.

Gulf of Mexico: Routine issuance of the Tropical Weather Outlook will resume on June 1, 2021. During the off-season, Special Tropical Weather Outlooks will be issued as conditions warrant.

Eastern Pacific: Routine issuance of the Tropical Weather Outlook will resume on May 15, 2021. During the off-season, Special Tropical Weather Outlooks will be issued as conditions warrant.

Here’s the link to the National Hurricane Center (NHC)

Central Pacific: Routine issuance of the Tropical Weather Outlook will resume on June 1, 2021. During the off-season, Special Tropical Weather Outlooks will be issued as conditions warrant.

Here’s the link to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center (CPHC)

Northwest Pacific Ocean: 

Tropical Cyclone 03W…is located approximately 45 NM east-northeast of Davao, Philippines

South Pacific Ocean: There are no active tropical cyclones

North and South Indian Oceans / Arabian Sea: There are no active tropical cyclones

Here’s a link to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC)

Interesting: As the Climate Warms…Could the U.S. Face Another Dust Bowl?

Growing up in rural Iowa in the 1990s, Isaac Larsen remembers a unique herald of springtime. The snowbanks piled along roads, once white or gray, would turn black. The culprit was windblown dust, stirred from barren farm fields into the air.

Even as some of the region’s farmers have adopted more sustainable practices, the dust still flies. Not long ago, Larsen’s mother told her son about an encounter with a dust storm, saying “the soil was just blowing across the road — almost like a blizzard, but black.”

Larsen, a 42-year-old geoscientist at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, recently published a paper on soil loss in the U.S. Corn Belt. Since farming began, Larsen and his coauthors estimate that more than one-third of the Corn Belt — nearly 30 million acres — has lost all of its nutrient- and carbon-rich topsoil. Similar processes also are taking place on the neighboring Great Plains, a sprawling region that includes Kansas, Nebraska, and the Dakotas, as well as parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Montana, and Colorado.

Each dust storm represents a thin layer of the earth, exfoliated by the atmosphere and relocated. Over time, as countless such storms have swept across the Midwest and Great Plains, they have removed the legacy of thousands of years of plant life and death there. The most striking example was the 1930s Dust Bowl, the environmental and agricultural catastrophe that stripped topsoil from millions of acres across the American interior, plunging farmers into bankruptcy, destroying crops, and fundamentally reshaping the heartland.

Much has changed in the U.S. heartland since the 1930s, with widespread irrigation and — on some farms — improved agricultural practices. But given the rising temperatures and worsening droughts caused by global warming, some scientists are asking whether the U.S. breadbasket is headed for another Dust Bowl.

In a 2018 National Climate Assessment, U.S. scientists warned that under current warming scenarios, temperatures in the southern Great Plains could increase by 3.6 to 5.1 degrees F by 2050 and by 4.4 F to 8.4 F by 2100, compared to the 1976-2005 average. The region is projected to be hit by dozens more days with temperatures above 100 degrees F. Temperature increases are likely to be less severe in the northern part of the region, but the entire Great Plains is nevertheless expected to weather both more heatwaves and periods of extreme drought, according to the National Climate Assessment.

The seeds of the Dust Bowl were sown when farmers in the early 20th century tore out millions of acres of hardy native grasses to plant wheat and corn during a relatively wet period. Then, when a historic, multi-year drought and heatwave occurred in the 1930s, the crops died and the exposed topsoil was left dry and loose, ripe to be swept away by strong winds. The ensuing storms could be immense: On April 14, 1935, the “Black Sunday” dust storm lofted central plains topsoil all the way to the cities of the East Coast. By the time the Dust Bowl was over, millions of migrants had fled the once-promising Great Plains for California and other western states.

But the catastrophe spurred innovation, too. In the midst of the Dust Bowl, the government acted quickly to establish the Soil Conservation Service, which helped promote more sustainable techniques like no-till agriculture and cover cropping, which reduce the amount of exposed soil. Many of the heartland’s industrial-scale farming operations, however, did not adopt these practices, though in recent years no-till agriculture has become more widespread.

Since the 1940s, many farmers on the Great Plains also have extensively irrigated their crops, allowing them to weather dry periods and further preventing topsoil erosion. But that reliance on irrigation has left the Great Plains open to new dangers. The Ogallala Aquifer — which makes up most of the High Plains Aquifer System and supplies the water for 30 to 46 percent of irrigated land in some Great Plains states — has been steadily overdrawn in recent decades; by some estimates, the Ogallala Aquifer could be 70 percent depleted within 50 years.

“There comes a point where if you’re not replenishing those resources like aquifers, then all you need is the next minor drought to come along, and if you don’t respond, then you run the risk of another Dust Bowl-like event,” says Tim Cowan, a senior research fellow at the University of Southern Queensland who studies the effects of climate change on precipitation and heatwaves.

Heat and drought are intimately linked, meaning that worsening heatwaves mean more droughts and vice versa. That one-two punch has many scientists concerned. “Dry soils have this exacerbating effect,” says Wim Thiery, a climate scientist at the University of Brussels. “There is this positive feedback where dry soils lead to more warmth.”

When the soil contains a lot of moisture, incoming energy from the sun gets absorbed by the water as it turns from a liquid into a gas. But when the soil contains little water, that energy is converted directly into heat. The result is that droughts lead to more severe heatwaves, and those heatwaves in turn lead to drier conditions.

Data shows that both drought and heat are becoming more common — and perhaps increasing the feedback effects between them. In a recent study in Nature, Cowan and his coauthors found that greenhouse gas emissions have made a period of Dust Bowl-like heatwaves more than two-and-a-half times more likely compared to the 1930s.

Ben Cook, a climate scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, says the same goes for drought. “What we’re seeing in a lot of regions is this kind of amplified evaporation effect that’s making it … easier to get into drought, a little bit harder to get out of drought, and making the droughts themselves a bit more intense than they would have been in a colder world.”

Meanwhile, agriculture continues to thrive in the Midwest and Great Plains. The combined regions are top producers of crops like corn, wheat, and soybeans, as well as livestock. That level of agricultural intensity, paired with increasingly hotter weather, raises the stakes for the United States should another historic drought occur.

One paper in 2016 relied on computer simulations to model the effects of Dust Bowl conditions on modern agriculture. Corn and soy crop yields would decline by around 40 percent, the authors estimate, and wheat yields would drop 30 percent. And every one degree Celsius (1.8 F) increase in temperature would cause the effects to worsen by 25 percent.

In a world where drought and heatwaves become routine, the two might combine to tip the country into a situation where agriculture becomes increasingly threatened, with profound impacts on U.S. food supplies.

The United State got a recent taste of Dust Bowl-like conditions. In 2012, the country experienced one of its worst droughts on record, along with a sizzling heatwave. La Niña conditions in the Pacific Ocean, combined with the lingering effects of a dry 2011, resulted in the driest summer in the U.S. since 1988. By July, nearly two-thirds of the country was in drought conditions, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Meanwhile, July 2012 was the second-hottest month on record at the time.

The effects on the nation’s farmers were substantial. Estimates put agricultural losses at around $30 billion, and corn yields declined by 26 percent. But even though the 2012 drought was similar in character to the Dust Bowl, billowing dust storms and wholesale agricultural collapse were absent. Similarly, a severe drought in the 1950s also failed to kick off another Dust Bowl.

“We’ve had bad droughts in the Central Plains since the Dust Bowl, but we haven’t had the same level of land degradation and dust storm activity,” Cook says. “And part of the reason for that is because our land use practices have changed.”

For the time being in the Great Plains, irrigation allows farmers to weather even severe droughts by drawing on water stored in underground aquifers. But the overuse of the High Plains Aquifer System, especially the Ogalalla Aquifer, is taxing the region’s groundwater supplies. Since 1987, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has been gathering yearly data on water levels in the High Plains Aquifer by monitoring thousands of wells.

Though changes vary across the region, the overall picture is one of persistent decline, says Virginia McGuire, a hydrologist with the USGS who’s been monitoring the aquifer for more than two decades. The volume of water in the aquifer in 2015 had fallen by 273.2 million acre-feet since irrigation began in the 1940s, according to a USGS report she authored. A map in the report shows red blotches spread across Texas, Oklahoma, and Colorado, revealing stark declines in the amount of water infusing the soil. Water levels in some places are less than half of what they were a century ago, McGuire says.

“If that trend doesn’t change, at some point there’s going to have to be a reckoning,” she says.

So much irrigation is taking place on the Great Plains and in other global agricultural zones that the added water is actually cooling regional temperatures. In a 2020 paper in Nature, Thiery and his colleagues compared average temperatures in heavily irrigated regions to those in the rest of the world. “We found that irrigation has a pretty pronounced cooling effect,” he says. Regions that were irrigated warmed by 1.5 F less on average than the rest of the world, they found. Some of the most heavily irrigated places even saw average temperatures decline as the world around them got warmer. But this effect is ultimately unsustainable.

“We are putting massive pressure on our groundwater resources by irrigating,” Thiery says. “At some point you will reach the point at which there is no more water coming from the wells.”

Water managers and farmers are already making changes to reduce water use, such as irrigating just half of their fields, or using multiple smaller wells to increase water yields from parched groundwater reserves, according to McGuire. But depleted aquifers take a long time to recharge, especially in areas like the southern Plains, where the water table is far below the surface. Meanwhile, dry years continue to stress the aquifer. During the three-year period between 2011 and 2013, the aquifer lost nearly as much water as it did between 1980 and 1995.

In 2012, says Cook, “the system was resilient enough to deal with a single year of really bad drought in the central U.S. Now, if that 2012 drought had lasted three, four, or five years, would our system have been able to handle that? That I don’t know.”

A key reason for the resilience of U.S. agriculture is the government’s ability to provide aid to farmers when times are tough, Cook says. But climate change is affecting the entire world, with hotter, drier conditions predicted to increase in regions — such as South Asia and East Africa — that may have little ability to cope with more extreme weather. In the Indian state of Punjab, where more than 80 percent of the land is used for agriculture, water tables are dropping quickly. A 2019 heatwave in India saw temperatures climb above 120 F, while water shortages led to violent clashes.

A European drought has also strained groundwater resources across much of the continent. Data from NASA’s GRACE-FO satellite from June 2020 revealed dangerously dry soils in Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, and parts of Russia. Similarly, a record-setting drought in Australia from 2017-2019 battered farmers, with extreme heat also sweeping across the country. Even if nations — particularly developing nations — adopt more sustainable irrigation and agricultural practices, a rapidly changing climate means they could still face crop failures that imperil food supplies.

The Dust Bowl is a uniquely American touchstone, a story of hardship and eventual triumph that has come to define both our country’s historical narrative and physical reality. But in a world where climate conditions grow steadily more extreme, that unparalleled disaster could become far more common.