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A Blustery Day in Hawaii

A windy day in Hawaii is when the breezy trade winds are h3er than usual, but usually it is still milder than high winds on the mainland.

Today the winds are h3 enough to prompt warnings for water activities. There is a small craft advisory for all Hawaii waters and a high surf advisory for east-facing shores. However, the winds are only about 23 miles per hour with gusts to over 30. When I lived in Kansas and Colorado, winds of those speeds didn’t even occasion comment. A wind warning meant that a semi truck might get blown over while driving down the highway or you should secure lawn furniture to keep it from blowing to the next county. Here, we are so accustomed to perfect weather that winds above 10-20 miles per hour are cause for cautions (and the absence of wind is a cause for complaint).

The winds today and tomorrow are forecast to be 15-30 miles per hour with passing showers. The rest of the forecast says the rain will be “mainly windward and mauka.” Windward means which side of the island (all the islands have windward and leeward sides). “Mauka” means in or towards the mountains (as opposed to makai, the ocean side). The rest of the week calls for trades of 10-20 miles per hour, which will be quite pleasant.

Just as the winds stay in a fairly narrow range, the temperature and “feels like” index are almost the same. On the mainland, often a temperature of just above zero would feel like minus 60 in the winter, due to the wind chill index. In the summer, I used to avoid even hearing about the heat-humidity index in Dallas. For Honolulu today, the actual temperature is 82 degrees and it feels like 85 degrees.

If you hear people in Hawaii complaining about the weather (as we do), keep in mind that we’re comparing it to perfect weather conditions and have a grain of salt handy.

Posted by: Bruce Fisher on Oct 27, 2010