Category Archives: Weather

You’d better watch out

Swell rolls in at Mahukona, Hawaii

This is where I often get in the water to go snorkeling and this photo illustrates why it’s a good idea to pay attention when getting in or out. The water looks pretty calm, but the whitewater near the top is an indicator of swells coming ashore. When those swells reach the ladder where swimmers get in and out, they can be steep and dangerous.

It’s easy to judge swells before getting in the water, but getting out is more tricky. Trying to gauge what’s happening from water level, it’s easy to misjudge the size and strength of an incoming swell. I wouldn’t have wanted to be getting out when this one rolled in!

Storm coming

Storm clouds build in Hawaii

Our big storm of a couple of weeks ago moved down from the northwest, from Kauai through Oahu and Maui to the Big Island. This view was taken one morning when the storm had enveloped Maui but not yet reached us. It wasn’t until late that same afternoon that the skies changed from blue to gray and black and the deluge began.

Favorites from 2022

Surf crashes ashore on the North Kohala coast in Hawaii
January: High surf crashes ashore in North Kohala. (link)

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Your 2022 Year-in-Review.’ See more responses here. Like last year, I’ve gone with a favorite photo from each month of 2021, with a caption and link to the post the photo first appeared in.

A Common Waxbill feeds on cane grass seeds
February: A Common Waxbill grabs a mouthful of seeds. (link)
A Monarch butterfly on purple bougainvillea flowers
March: A Monarch Butterfly on a bougainvillea. (link)
A Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle swims by
April: A Green Turtle swims by. (link)
Three cats resting in Hawaii
May: A trio of cats hard at work! (link)
A photo of an owl in a car wing mirror
June: How to keep birds off your car. (link)
A view of Green sand beach (Papakōlea) on the Big Island, Hawaii
July: The green sand beach near South Point. (link)
A white-tailed tropicbird flying over North Kohala, Hawaii
August: A White-tailed Tropicbird glides by. (link)
A Black-crowned night heron struggles o get out of an algae covered pond
September: A Black-crowned Night Heron struggles to get out of a pond. (link)
A Spinner dolphin leaps from the waters off Hawaii
October: A Spinner Dolphin leaps from the water off North Kohala. (link)
Two manta rays in the waters off Hawaii
November: A pair of Manta Rays swims toward me. (link)
A cloud forms over the site of the eruption on Mauna Loa , Hawaii
December: Mauna Loa erupted for the first time in 40 years, capturing attention and changing the weather. (link)

White Christmas in Hawaii

Snow on Mauna Kea at Christmas 2022

Season’s greetings to everyone. As one would expect, we’re having a white Christmas here on the Big Island. The storm of last week dumped a generous amount of snow on top of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa and much of it is still around. It’s a lovely sight, especially when viewed from somewhere where the temperature is in the 70s or low 80s!

When it rains…

Heavy rain in Hawaii

A follow up to yesterday’s post, my commute yesterday was surprisingly good. Once I got to work though, things went downhill. Driving rain, rivers where they shouldn’t be, wading pools popping up everywhere. Oh, and thunder and lightning, a rare occurrence in these parts, in abundance.

The day was short and I left for home in another downpour, amid rumors of road closures and an overturned semi-truck on my route. Once I passed Kawaihae (where I did see the semi trailer conveniently off to one side of the road), the rain eased and getting home was a breeze. I even managed a trip to the gas station in blazing sunshine.

But later, the skies darkened, lightning flashed, and thunder cracked directly overhead. And rain lashed the house, driven sideways by gusts of wind. I think this was the hardest rain I’ve seen since I moved here. The photos don’t capture it, cowering as I was safely inside and taking photos through increasingly blurred windows.

According to the forecast, the system should pass overnight, and I will be very happy to wave it goodbye.

Heavy rain in Hawaii

Flooding

Heavy rains flood a road on the Big Island, Hawaii

Yesterday, a strong storm system moved across Hawaii from the west. On the Big Island, for most of the day, the weather was quite mellow, but the darkening clouds over Maui did not bode well. In the late afternoon, the bad weather finally arrived. The skies darkened and rain lashed down. When I left work, I had headlights on and drove with care. Just north of Kawaihae, the downpour increased in strength and I turned my windshield wipers to full speed.

I’ve never seen so much rain falling here, an area that gets 10 to 15 inches a year. Every little gully on the hillside was flooded with rainwater. About halfway home, I saw brake lights ahead, a blue police light, and a line of cars not moving. I couldn’t see whether this was an accident or something else.

The line of traffic soon started moving again and this was the scene I came to. A river of water flooded over the bank, washing debris into the road, and cascading down the slope towards the ocean. A policeman directed one way traffic and soon I was urging my little car through the torrent, water spraying up on both sides. I was happy to make it to the other side.

Back home, the weather was less extreme, but the system is supposed to hang around through Monday so who knows how this morning’s commute will be. If I don’t post again, you’ll know it did not go well!

Heavy rains flood a road on the Big Island, Hawaii