Weather Forecast

Maui Weather Forecast for December 30, 2020

December 30, 2020, 7:15 AM HST
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Photo Credit: Tyler Rooke

West Side

Today: Sunny, with a high near 84. East wind 5 to 10 mph becoming light and variable.

Tonight: Isolated showers. Partly cloudy, with a low around 68. North northeast wind around 6 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Thursday: Isolated showers before noon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 82. Breezy, with an east northeast wind 6 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 23 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

South Side

Today: Sunny, with a high near 84. Northeast wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the afternoon.

Tonight: Isolated showers before midnight. Partly cloudy, with a low around 66. Light and variable wind. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

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Thursday: Isolated showers after noon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 82. Breezy, with a light and variable wind becoming east northeast 10 to 15 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

North Shore

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Today: Sunny, with a high near 82. Breezy, with an east wind 11 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 28 mph.

Tonight: Isolated showers after 7pm. Partly cloudy, with a low around 67. Breezy, with an east wind 13 to 17 mph, with gusts as high as 24 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Thursday: Scattered showers, mainly between 7am and 1pm. Mostly sunny, with a high near 80. Breezy, with an east northeast wind 14 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

Central Maui

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Today: Sunny, with a high near 82. Breezy, with a northeast wind 5 to 10 mph increasing to 13 to 18 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 25 mph.

Tonight: Isolated showers. Partly cloudy, with a low around 65. Breezy, with a northeast wind 9 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Thursday: Isolated showers. Mostly sunny, with a high near 80. Breezy, with a northeast wind 11 to 16 mph increasing to 17 to 22 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 32 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Upcountry

Today: Mostly sunny, with a high near 70. Calm wind becoming west around 6 mph in the afternoon.

Tonight: Partly cloudy, with a low around 55. Calm wind becoming south southeast around 6 mph after midnight.

Thursday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 68. Windy, with a north northwest wind 5 to 10 mph becoming east northeast 18 to 23 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 32 mph.

East Maui

Today: Scattered showers, mainly before 1pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 80. East wind 9 to 11 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

Tonight: Scattered showers, mainly after 7pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 63. East northeast wind 8 to 11 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

Thursday: Scattered showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 78. Northeast wind around 11 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

Lanai City

Today: Mostly sunny, with a high near 76. Northeast wind 3 to 8 mph.

Tonight: Partly cloudy, with a low around 63. Breezy, with a northeast wind 8 to 13 mph increasing to 15 to 20 mph after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 28 mph.

Thursday: Isolated showers after noon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 75. Windy, with a northeast wind 17 to 22 mph increasing to 23 to 28 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 40 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Kaunakakai

Today: Sunny, with a high near 81. East wind 6 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 18 mph.

Tonight: Partly cloudy, with a low around 70. East northeast wind 7 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 18 mph.

Thursday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 80. Windy, with an east northeast wind 9 to 14 mph increasing to 18 to 23 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 33 mph.

Detailed Forecast

Update

High Surf Advisory for north and west facing shores of Niihau, Kauai and Oahu upgraded to High Surf Warning based on the increase shown on the Waimea Buoy (12 ft significant wave, 15 second period) this morning. High Surf Advisory remains in effect for north and west facing shores of Molokai and north facing shores of Maui.

Synopsis

Trade winds will return today, strengthen tonight, then become breezy to locally windy New Years Eve through Saturday. The trades will ease to moderate levels Sunday and hold at these levels through the middle of next week. After a fairly dry day today, more typical trade wind weather will return tonight and prevail through the middle of next week. Showers will favor windward and mauka areas with an occasional shower spilling leeward, particularly at night and during the early morning hours.

Discussion

Currently at the surface, a cold front is located around 650 miles west-northwest of Kauai, while a 1031 mb high is centered around 1500 miles northeast of Honolulu. Moderate trades prevail from windward Oahu eastward to the Big Island, while winds remain light and variable winds over Kauai and leeward Oahu. Infrared satellite imagery shows clear to partly cloudy skies in most areas, although there are some pockets of more substantial cloud cover in windward areas. Radar imagery shows very little shower activity, with only a few spotty showers moving into windward areas. Main short term concerns revolve around trade wind trends during the next few days.
The cold front northwest of the islands will shift southeastward toward the area today, then stall out and dissipate a couple hundred miles north of Kauai tonight and New Years Eve. Despite the front moving closer to the islands in the near term, deep layer ridging will build to the north and northeast of the state, allowing moderate trades to overspread the entire island chain by early this afternoon. Moderate trades are expected to hold in place tonight, then become breezy on New Years Eve. Breezy to locally windy trades are then expected Thursday night through Saturday as a high slides east-southeast well to the north of the islands. The trades should then ease to moderate levels Sunday through the middle of next week.
As for the remaining weather details, we should see fairly dry conditions hold in place across the entire island chain today. More typical trade wind weather should then return tonight and persist through the remainder of the forecast period. Bands of moisture will move through the islands during this time, and although showers will favor windward and mauka areas, some showers will reach leeward areas at times due to the stronger trades. Showers are expected to be most prevalent during the night and early morning hours. No significant rainfall is expected during the next 7 days.

Aviation

A surface ridge north of the area will maintain moderate to locally strong east winds around the Big Island and Maui County. Gentle to locally fresh southeast winds around Oahu and Kauai County will shift out of the east today as the ridge builds. A ridge aloft will keep the atmosphere stable, so VFR conditions will prevail. The east to southeast, low-level flow will push some showers ashore over east sections this morning. Sea breezes will produce some cloudiness over the southwest slopes of most islands this afternoon. Beginning tonight, the increasing winds will bring more typical trade wind weather state-wide, with showers favoring windward and mountain areas (with occasional leeward spillover) during the overnight and early morning time frame.

Marine

A ridge axis just north of the state in association with surface high pressure located far northeast of the islands will lift northward today. This will take southeasterly winds generally north of 20N latitude and and back them more easterly. These easterlies will gradually strengthen and fill in across all waters late tonight into early Thursday. New high pressure building in north of the chain Thursday will likely strengthen trades from fresh to strong magnitudes through New Year’s Weekend.
A reinforcing northwest swell will be filling in through the day. This swell will easily maintain advisory level surf with an expected boost in surf today along the north and west-facing shorelines of Niihau, Kauai, Oahu and Molokai along with the north-facing shores of Maui. Recent northwest offshore buoy observations have been observing solid early morning 12-14 foot, near 16 second swell energy that is timed to reach the Kauai and Oahu north and west-facing coasts later this morning. This latest swell energy may have surf reaching warning level heights later today and into tonight. These swells will gradually lower Thursday but yet another large northwest swell is scheduled to arrive through the early Friday morning hours. These swells are currently being generated by severe gale to storm force winds around a North Pacific low. Enough energy from this low should follow the northwest great circle path and clip the islands with near 14 foot, 17 second northwest swells early Friday. These current swells, when combined with weekly high astronomical tides, may result in minor coastal water inundation within low-lying areas during early morning high tides. Surf should trend down over the weekend and likely fall below advisory thresholds.
The combination of these northwest swells and increased trades will create rough seas that will exceed the 10 foot Small Craft Advisory (SCA) criteria over exposed waters through the remainder of the week. Thus, a SCA is in effect for all waters except for the Oahu and Maui leeward waters.
Eastern shore surf will hold today and then pick up late Thursday and stay up going into the weekend in response to strengthening upstream trade winds. Other than some wind-driven swell, minimal surf is expected along south-facing shores.

HFO Watches/Warnings/Advisories

High Surf Warning until 6 AM HST Thursday for Niihau, Kauai Windward, Kauai Leeward, Waianae Coast, Oahu North Shore, Oahu Koolau.
High Surf Advisory until 6 AM HST Thursday for Molokai, Maui Windward West, Maui Central Valley, Windward Haleakala.
Small Craft Advisory until 6 AM HST Friday for Kauai Northwest Waters, Kauai Windward Waters, Kauai Leeward Waters, Kauai Channel, Oahu Windward Waters, Kaiwi Channel, Maui County Windward Waters, Maalaea Bay, Pailolo Channel, Alenuihaha Channel, Big Island Windward Waters, Big Island Leeward Waters, Big Island Southeast Waters.

Data Courtesy of NOAA.gov

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