Thursday, November 12, 2009

Northern-Low Weather Threat Continues ~ Lava Deflation

Without sounding too repetitive with these posts regarding weather I do so because climate conditions in Hawaii affect such a broad number of our activities here: from the drive to & from work, plans to play on the other side of an island, surfing, lava viewing and most other outdoor activities - even snowboarding!. That said…

Official Hawaii weather forecasters continue posting advisories ranging from high surf, high winds, snow on the volcano summits, thunderstorms, and heavy rains with flood watches for all the Hawaiian Islands.

An ongoing push of a massive northern low-pressure system creates unstable and variable weather in the region. Unstable means the mix of rotating upper level cold air with warm moist ocean surface air can produce quickly shifting winds and surf conditions, rapidly developing thunder storm cells and difficulty predicting exactly when & where these will develop over each island. This instability will continue until this northern low moves off the islands, which should begin in the next few days.

Currently, here on the east point of Hawaii Island it is overcast with
numerous showers, calm - muggy air and some nice surfing swells rolling in.

Lava Activity:

Some serious deflation of lava pressures is taking place on the heals of a zigzag week of lower pressure. The US Geological Service graph below plots this. Generally a lower deflation (drop in magma pressure under the Kilauea Volcano) produces a decrease in lava activity visually seen between mountain and sea.

As my 2:00PM alert posted yesterday said, the County viewing area was closed at that time due to southerly winds pushing the toxic plume fumes back over where visitors would gather to witness the ocean entry lava at Waikupanaha. I would suggest phoning the Lava Viewing Civil Defense Hotline at 961-8093 at around 2:00 PM or after for today’s update. If you are making plans to visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park you can phone for information at 985-6000

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