Cold Temperatures & Rain Showers Are Heading To Hawaii; Rising Flooding Worries

Bryan Dijkhuizen

This morning, a cold front is moving into the island on the Big Island. A hard air mass is sweeping over the island, resulting in frigid morning temperatures that plummeted into the 50s in several places.

Throughout the Big Island, radar shows widespread light to moderate rain moving in from the southwest, with rain gauges suggesting rainfall rates of around 1/4 inch per hour.

More muscular convective cells with excellent rainfall rates are located southeast of the Big Island's coastal waters.

Meanwhile, to the Northwest of Kauai, an intense low-pressure system with frigid mid-level temperatures is building, resulting in the production of broad layered clouds that have blanketed the island's sky.

Several showers have formed in the post-frontal Northwest flow over Kauai and Oahu due to the instability associated with the low aloft building. These showers have moved ashore across North and West exposures on the islands.

According to forecasters, the chilly and dry air mass that passed across the islands in the aftermath of yesterday's front will not be around for very long. In addition to spawning a surface low, Kauai's emerging cut-off low aloft northwest will progressively travel northwest away from the islands through the middle of this week.

As a result of the standard pressure system to the northwest of Kauai, winds will shift to the south and southwest across the whole island by tonight, with dew points reaching the 70s as the air mass becomes much moister.

On the Big Island, there is growing confidence that these south to southwest winds will become locally strong over the next couple of days, to the point where a Wind Advisory may be issued, maybe even as early as tomorrow for the island.

A convergence band will form to the southeast of the Kona low, and the band is projected to migrate from the east to the west through the Hawaiian island chain during the next few days.

According to the most recent prediction guidance, this convergence zone is expected to have a significant moisture surge to work with, with the moisture now being seen between 300 and 700 miles southeast of the Big Island.

Starting on Sunday, it will affect the Big Island and Maui County before spreading to Oahu and Kauai County on Sunday night and continuing through Monday.

Because heavy showers and thunderstorms may travel swiftly from South to North inside the band while the band itself moves very little, this sort of convergence band can provide sustained heavy rain for a lengthy period.

In recent days, there has been rising worry of substantial flooding consequences on the islands, and a Flash Flood Watch has been issued for all islands.

Although it is still too early to predict where the most significant effects will occur, there has been some improvement in confidence in the timetable described in this document.

In addition to increased rainfall rates, the strong forcing for ascent will boost the likelihood of a few severe thunderstorms forming if the strong shear vertical wind shear phases with the deep moisture in the atmosphere.

The Blizzard Warning for the Big Island summits remains in force due to powerful mid-level winds associated with the developing low-pressure system, which may produce gusts over 100 mph during the next 24-hours.

During this time frame, the moisture will be deep enough for spells of heavy snowfall to occur.

With the strengthening of the southerly winds, temperatures above the Summits may rise to the point where snow may be replaced entirely by rain later Sunday and into Monday.

The Wind Advisory for Haleakala in effect may need to be elevated to a High Wind Warning if the South winds continue to strengthen tomorrow.

As the low-pressure system passes away and high pressure to the North-East forces trade winds across the region from the east, a drying trend from east to west is expected Wednesday and Thursday.

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