Wet weather for Hawaii on Christmas holidays?
Trade winds that have been keeping the Hawaiian Islands cool in the past week has weakened as the high pressure ridge weakened and shifted eastward ahead of the approaching frontal system from the west. It caused the winds to shift from easterly to southeasterly. Showers will continue to favor in windward and mauka areas. There will be widespread sea breezes that would produce afternoon cloud buildups throughout the leeward portions of all islands, but conditions should remain fairly dry for today. However, satellite imagery shows that mid to high level clouds from the west are slowly approaching to the islands. By tonight through Christmas, high clouds should spread over Hawaii, bringing higher chances of rainfall.
Two reliable models, the GFS and the ECMWF, are showing that the abundant tropical moisture currently several hundred miles southwest of the island of Kauai is expected to approach nearer to the Hawaiian Islands but will remain just off to the west-southwest of Hawaii. Thus, it appears that heavy rain is unlikely to occur but rather some light rain associated with the moisture. Yet, rainfall forecast remains somewhat uncertain. By Wednesday, high clouds are anticipated to clear out, and the easterly trade winds are forecast to return, bringing in typical weather pattern in Hawaii. Relatively dry conditions should return as well, with showers remaining over the windward and mauka areas. However, this would last briefly as another front will move towards the islands. Models have shown that although the front is not expected to reach the state, it will be close enough to shift easterly winds toward more southeasterly again by Friday and last through the weekend. Nonetheless, conditions should remain stable.
Figure 1. Morning infrared satellite image of Hawaii and the central Pacific region as of 10:00 am HST. Image credit: Mauna Kea Weather Center (MKWC).
Have a wonderful Christmas holiday, everyone!