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Hawaiian Islands Synoptic Discussion and Guidance

FXHW60 PHFO 270611

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Honolulu HI
811 PM HST Wed Jan 26 2022

Expect mostly dry weather through the weekend, with winds on the
lighter side. A few windward showers will be possible over Maui
County and the Big Island, with periods of light and variable winds
over Kauai and Oahu leading to mostly clear nights and mornings, and
partly cloudy afternoons and evenings, and possibly a few interior


A surface ridge extends from a surface high to the distant NE to a
few hundred miles N of Kauai, supporting light to moderate E-SE
winds. A cold front is approaching from the NW, with the leading
edge about 600 miles NW of Kauai. Afternoon soundings indicate a
stable island atmosphere, with a low and strong temperature
inversion strongly capping the limited moisture. Satellite images
show limited low clouds approaching from the E-SE, with most of the
stable low clouds near Kauai this evening.

The forecast anticipates that the approaching front will draw closer
through Thursday night, then stall and dissipate N of the islands on
Friday. As the front draws closer, winds will become increasingly
lighter, especially on the W end of the island chain. This will
allow island-scale land breezes to clear skies over land at night
and in the morning, with afternoon sea breezes leading to a few
interior clouds, and possibly a shower or two. Easterly trades may
remain strong enough to deliver a few windward showers to the Big
Island and Maui.

As the front dissipates, high pressure passing N of the area will
strengthen the ridge and move it northward Friday night and
Saturday, leading to increasing trade winds and a few windward
showers. Another front will approach from the NW over the weekend,
forcing the ridge S again, and leading to weakening and veering
winds over Kauai and Oahu on Sunday, while light to moderate E
trades persist over the Big Island and Maui. The mostly dry pattern
appears to hold through the weekend, with model guidance still
somewhat divergent regarding the evolution of the front early next
week. The potential exists for the front to move over the islands
Monday and Tuesday, with the latest deterministic GFS run indicating
that it will have significant support aloft.


An area of high pressure NE of the islands will reinforce light SE
flow across the state through the TAF period. The airmass is stable
and rather dry focusing a majority a few isolated showers to mainly
E and SE facing slopes. The light wind pattern will allow for
diurnal daytime sea breeze cloud formation across interior leeward
areas, with clouds diminishing in areal coverage during the evening
with the development of land breeze circulations. Predominantly VFR
conditions are expected through the TAF period.

AIRMET Tango continues for higher level turbulence above FL300 based
on eddy dissipation rate and Ellrod guidance.


A cold front approaching the islands from the northwest will weaken
the ridge north of the region into the first half of next week. In
the short term forecast, a surface ridge north of the islands will
keep moderate to locally strong trade winds in the forecast through
early Thursday morning. This ridge will weaken and drift over the
northwestern Hawaiian Islands on Thursday, causing the large scale
winds to weaken and veer from a more southeasterly direction near
Niihau, Kauai and Oahu. Local scale land and sea breezes will
develop in the near shore waters of these three islands. Trade winds
will remain strong enough for continued Small Craft Advisory (SCA)
conditions over the windier southeastern channels and waters near
Maui and the Big Island through Thursday morning. This SCA will
likely be cancelled before 6 AM Thursday as trade wind speeds
decrease below advisory thresholds. Light winds remain in the long
range forecast for next week with an unsettled troughing pattern
setting up north of the state.

A reinforcing northwest swell is filling in tonight, as offshore
buoys to the northwest has begun to rise slightly this morning, and
may push surf heights back up to near advisory levels along exposed
north and west facing shores through Thursday. Surf will lower to
well below seasonal levels by Friday. The next in a series of
northwest swells should arrive Friday night and may once again push
surf up into the advisory range along north and west facing shores
on the weekend with a downward trend then expected early next week.

Very small surf is expected along east facing shores into the
weekend. South shore surf will remain very small through Thursday,
with a small boost possible Friday through the weekend.


Small Craft Advisory until 6 AM HST Thursday for Maalaea Bay-
Pailolo Channel-Alenuihaha Channel-Big Island Leeward Waters-Big
Island Southeast Waters.




Bulletins, Forecasts and Observations are courtesy of Honolulu National Weather Service Forecast Office

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It was last modified on: Wed, Dec 17 2014 - 1841 UTC
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