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

83 – 73  Lihue, Kauai
87 – 75  Honolulu, Oahu
8674  Molokai AP
9171  Kahului AP, Maui
84 – 74  Kona AP, Hawaii
8671  Hilo, Hawaii 

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

2.28  Mount Waialeale, Kauai
0.42  Poamoho RG 1, Oahu
0.30  Molokai
0.06  Lanai
0.00  Kahoolawe
0.46  Puu Kukui, Maui
1.17  Kaloko-Honokohau, Big Island

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

28  Waimea Heights, Kauai
28  Kuaokala, Oahu
31  Molokai
23  Lanai
42  Kahoolawe
32  Kahului AP, Maui
31  Kealakomo, 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, although it’s often not working correctly these days. 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.
Thunderstorms far south-southwest of the state…a cold front well northwest
Looping version of the image above

Low clouds moving into the state on the trades…high cirrus clouds moving into parts of the state from the southwest
Showers locally
Looping Radar Image
Looping Surface Precipitation…through the next 8-days

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

Hawaii Weather Narrative

Glenn’s Saturday comments:
Mid-morning and once again today, clouds are thickening up around the slopes of the Haleakala Crater. Looking down into the central valley from here in Kula, I see an unusual shaft of rain falling…which appears to be in lower Kula I think.

Well, now in the later afternoon hours, that shaft of rain down the mountain is trying to edge up this way, as I’m have a few very light showers falling occasionally…nothing that would amount to even 0.01″. Ok, this latest little ditty on the deck perhaps is registering a little…and then some in fact, I’m tempted to give an exclamation mark, although that might be reaching too far.

Anybody that’s reading live in Bend, Oregon? I have a very good friend that’s moving there soon with his GF, and he and and I went to college together, and more importantly, are both weather nuts, and have remained best of friends through the years. I visited there several times over the last 4-5 years, and would like to visit again…once this untoward situation self corrects.

At sunset, those high clouds have drifted over Maui, and it looks like there could be some nice pink colors, as these icy clouds reflect the last rays into our eyes.

Broad Brush Overview: The trade winds will ease up some Sunday and Monday, and then strengthen again thereafter. These trades will carry low clouds and showers to windward areas…becoming most active during the night and early morning hours. The north shore beaches look sunny and dry, as does the south shoreline.

Details: Our trade winds will soften and veer to the east-southeast Sunday and Monday, as a low and associated cold front pass by well north of the state…forcing a ridge down closer to the island chain. This in turn will prompt lighter winds over leeward sections of the western islands, as the eastern islands partially block the wind flow. Winds over Maui and the Big Island should remain at moderate to locally strong speeds.

A weak trough this weekend will support increased low clouds, bringing a few passing showers to the windward sides. The slight reduction in wind speeds later this weekend could allow a few leeward clouds and showers to develop over the smaller islands in the afternoons…in response to localized sea breeze convergence. Leeward Big Island slopes can  look for the usual afternoon clouds and showers, which often linger into the night.

Looking Further Ahead: Winds will strengthen from the trade direction statewide Tuesday and Wednesday, with windier conditions developing…likely through the rest of the week. The island atmosphere is expected to remain capped by a subsidence inversion, which will limit shower intensity through the extended period.

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

Marine Environmental Conditions: A front passing far to the north will bring the ridge a little closer to the islands, so by Sunday or Monday, the trades would be weaker, resulting in the cancellation of the small craft advisory (SCA). This lull will be short-lived, with SCA likely returning Monday night to the typically windy waters, and continuing through at least the middle of the new week. Trade winds will become strong and gusty area-wide, during the second half of the new week…resulting in the expansion of the SCA.

A series of small south to southwest swells will maintain seasonal average surf for the south facing shores through the upcoming week. A small southwest swell that is now breaking along our south facing shores, will be reinforced by the arrival of another small swell Wednesday. This swell will be slow to lower.

The north facing shores will have small surf through this weekend, and into the new week. Surf along east facing shores will be moderate and choppy, then becoming slightly smaller between Sunday and Monday, due to the weaker trades. Surf will then rise in the following days, as the trades are expected to increase. Expect surf heights along east facing shores to come close to advisory levels.

Trade wind conditions holding over the islands…although easing up some in strength over the western islands Sunday and Monday


World-wide Tropical Cyclone Activity

Here’s a link to the latest Pacific Disaster Center’s Weather Wall…covering the Atlantic, Caribbean Sea, and Gulf of Mexico

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

Atlantic Ocean: There are no active tropical cyclones

An area of low pressure is expected to develop along a cold front a few hundred miles east or northeast of Bermuda by the middle of next week. Some development of this system is possible while it moves northwestward or west-northwestward over the western Atlantic.

* Formation chance through 48 hours…low…near 0 percent
* Formation chance through 5 days…low…20 percent

Here’s a satellite image of the Atlantic Ocean

>>> Caribbean Sea: There are no active tropical cyclones

WSI satellite image of the Caribbean Sea

Latest satellite image of the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico

>>> Gulf of Mexico:

Tropical Cyclone 03L (Cristobal)…is located about 235 miles south-southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River

Here’s what the computer models are showing

According to the NHC, Cristobal is moving toward the north near 12 mph (19 km/h) and this general motion is expected to continue for the next day or so, followed by a gradual turn toward the north-northwest. On the forecast track, the center of Cristobal will move northward over the central Gulf of Mexico tonight, and will be near the northern Gulf of Mexico coast on Sunday. Cristobal’s center is then forecast to move inland across Louisiana late Sunday through Monday morning, and northward across Arkansas and Missouri Monday afternoon into Tuesday.

Maximum sustained winds remain near 50 mph (85 km/h) with higher gusts. Some slow strengthening is forecast until landfall occurs on the northern Gulf coast. Weakening will begin once Cristobal moves inland late Sunday and Monday.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 240 miles (390 km) from the center.

>>> Eastern Pacific: There are no active tropical cyclones

No tropical cyclones are expected during the next 5 days

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

>>> Central Pacific: There are no active tropical cyclones

No tropical cyclones are expected during the next 5 days

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

>>> Northwest Pacific Ocean: There are no active tropical cyclones

>>> South Pacific Ocean: There are no active tropical cyclones

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

Best-preserved dinosaur stomach ever found reveals ‘sleeping dragon’s’ last meal
– The last meal of the 3,000-lb. (1,360 kilograms) “sleeping dragon” dinosaur is so beautifully preserved, scientists now know exactly what the armored beast ate before it died about 112 million years ago, a new study finds.

Extraordinary circumstances left the remains of this giant dinosaur in pristine, lifelike condition. After it died, the body was swept out to sea, bloated with gas and remained afloat until it sank in an oxygen-poor area perfect for preservation; and its tough, boney armor likely deterred marine predators. 

Turns out, the nodosaur’s stomach contents were just as remarkably preserved as the rest of its body. An analysis of its fossilized soccer-ball-size stomach contents reveals that this dinosaur, known as Borealopelta markmitchelli, was an extremely picky eater. It ate ferns, but only certain types, and only select parts of those plants.

“These remains are amazingly well preserved. You can see the cellular detail of the plants,” study co-lead researcher Caleb Brown, a curator at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Alberta, Canada. “When we first looked at the slides under the microscope, it was one of those moments where it’s like ‘whoa.'”

Miners found the remains of the 18-foot-long (5.5 meters) nodosaur — a cousin of the Ankylosaurus — in 2011 at the Suncor Millennium Mine in Alberta. With only its tail and hind legs missing, the herbivorous beast is the most well-preserved armored dinosaur on record. 

While it’s more common to find the stomach remains of carnivorous dinosaurs (after all, the prey’s bones are often fossilized within the beast that ate it), it’s rare to find the fossilized remains of a herbivorous dinosaur’s last meal.

That’s “because often the preservational requirements to preserve bone are different than preserving plants,” Brown said. “So you’d have to have both of those occurring at the same time,” to preserve both the herbivore’s bones and its meals. Furthermore, it can be difficult to determine if fossilized plants were part of the dinosaur’s diet or simply at the spot where it died, he added.

There are only about 10 reported cases of herbivorous dinosaurs’ last meals, and “I’d say in two-thirds of those, there’s really no good evidence that they are stomach content,” Brown said. “They’re just leaves that got buried at the same time as the animal.”

As a result, it’s hard to know which species of plants, and what parts of those plants, that herbivorous dinosaurs ate. Enter B. markmitchelli; this dinosaur not only had good preservation but also was fossilized out at sea, away from land plants. In other words, it would be extremely unlikely that land ferns just happened to be in the marine environment where the dinosaur’s body came to rest. 

Fern nutritional reasons

To study the nodosaur’s last meal, researchers made slides out of a few ping pong-ball-size chunks of the fossilized stomach content. They found that leaves accounted for nearly 88% of the plant material, and less than 7% comprised stems and wood. Charcoal accounted for about 6%.

The majority of those leaves were from leptosporangiate ferns, with just a tiny amount from cycads (an ancient group of seed plants) and even less from conifers (modern conifers include plants with pine cones). 

“We recognized at least five different kinds of ferns from the microscopic sporangia [the place where spores form] in the stomach contents, but there were many more that we identified from spores dispersed in the stomach,” study co-lead researcher David Greenwood, a professor of biology at Brandon University in Manitoba, Canada, told Live Science in an email.

In particular, the researchers found sporangia with a specialized ring of thickened cells that acts as a spring to fling spores into the air, Greenwood said. This ring is found only in leptosporangiate ferns common today in gardens and woods. B. markmitchelli didn’t seem to favor eusporangiate ferns, which lack this ring, even though the ferns were common in the dinosaur’s stomping grounds, according to fossilized evidence. 

Nor did the dinosaur eat (at least according to fossil evidence) horsetails, cedar plants or tropical plants also in the area. To put it mildly, it looks like B. markmitchelli had very specific taste in plants. Just like a modern deer, “it selected which plant parts and which plants it ate,” Greenwood said.

Even so, this gut material “is a snapshot of what one dinosaur ate on one particular day,” said Karen Chin, an associate professor and a curator of paleontology at the University of Colorado Boulder, who was not involved in the research. “We have to avoid assuming that the gut contents are representative of the dinosaur’s everyday diet.”

What’s more, this dinosaur’s diet could have changed over its life span and as the seasons changed, Chin said.

Self medication?

The charcoal found in the nodosaur’s belly suggests the dinosaur consumed its last meal in a recently burned area. “Many animals today self-medicate by eating charcoal,” Greenwood said. “We don’t know if Borealopelta was doing that, but the charcoal in its stomach says it was eating its last meal in an area that had burnt in a wildfire in the last 6-18 months.

Perhaps, like many modern day grazing mammals, it preferred to eat in recently burned areas, as it was easier to move around and find newly growing, nutritious plants to eat, Greenwood noted.

Stones, also known as gastroliths, were also found in the gut and ranged from pea- to grape-size, Brown said. They were used to help the creature break down the fibrous plants it had eaten. This technique is seen in birds today. ( Birds evolved from carnivorous dinosaurs known as theropods.)

The stomach contents also revealed the season of death. Based on the woody stems’ growth rings and the mature sporangia, it appears that this dinosaur died during the late spring to mid-summer, the researchers found.