Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Watching Wild Winds with

Today the rather awesome website Windyty was brought to my attention, which shows these amazing animated maps of various weather conditions over the entire planet, vector maps of wind speed being the default. As I was excitedly ranging to and fro about the whole Earth, I took a look at the Pacific and discovered the rather ominous scene below (you can click and drag to move in, and scroll to change the zoom level):

Those two spiraling vortices are hurricanes Madeline (left) and Lester (right), both Category 3 hurricanes as of the time of this writing, and both bearing down on the location of my abode. Some models have Madeline narrowly missing the Big Island, other have it making direct landfall, but they generally agree that it'll happen sometime Wednesday evening or early Thursday morning. Thankfully, they're also projecting it to drop in strength to a Category 1, or even a mere tropical storm. There are predictions for between 6–15 inches of rain, though we had a little over 6 inches last Tuesday and that wasn't even a tropical storm.

Lester is further out and thus more poorly constrained, but it's possible it could hit as well sometime around the end of the week, though again, it could miss and will likely drop in strength before that happens.

As I've occasionally said before, life's never boring when you live on a volcano in the middle of the Pacific! Looks like the wind's picking up a bit as I write this, and it just started raining as well. While the map above is constrained to show the weather around the time I'm writing this (August 30, ~2:00 PM), the one below is set to the most recent actual forecast, so you can watch it over the rest of the week if you want to watch what the hurricanes do. A hui hou!

Update, August 31, 12:00 PM: The wind pattern picture from this point in time is just so cool I had to share it. Hurricane Madeline is starting to head down south of the island, and it's interesting how the wind speed is high in the ʻAlenuihāhā channel between Hawaiʻi and Maui (famed for its wind-funneling effect) but mostly pretty low over Hawaiʻi itself.


  1. This is the best website!!!! Hope you didn't have too rough a time over there. I'm keeping an eye on Lester for Oahu and enjoying the windiness.

    1. No, Hilo got it pretty mild—a couple waves of steady wind and some heavy rain Wednesday, but Thursday's weather was beautiful, and most of the rain had dried up by the end of the day. Friday and Saturday (so far) have just been mildly overcast. Lester's pretty definitely not going to be a problem for us, hope it doesn't cause too much trouble your way!


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