When it comes to Trade Winds the winds angle is everything.

by Mike Godsey, mike@iwindsurf.com

So here are some of the many forum posts about the relative lack of trade winds in Hawaii.  Read, weep and then scroll below to see what happened.

3.7_Maui
Joined: 20 Jul 2012
Posts: 18
PostPosted: 18 May 2014 22:01    Post subject: Hawaii -Trade Winds Dead – 7 Months Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster

Hawaii Trade Winds Dead! looks like “On golden pond” nearly every single day for 7 months now, with a rare day every 4 or 5 weeks – but it will not hold 2 days even- than back to nothing for another 4-5 weeks. Never enough wind to even blow out a candle on the beach! Dead calm – going mad – where is that crack pipe?
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katiedog
Joined: 09 Jul 2000
Posts: 24
PostPosted: 18 May 2014 22:15    Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster

I have been watching this from the east coast,looks like a lot of rain also.Summer holiday on hold now.

Actually there have been pretty reliable trade winds this winter and spring. The issue is that the trade winds have often been at the wrong angle North Pacific HighNoTradesHawaiisometimes throwing parts of Maui’s north shore into a wind shadow.

You can see the problem in the video below from 6AM this morning. There are strong trade winds heading towards Maui.

The problem is that low pressure systems you see to the north and northeast are distorting the shape of the North Pacific High.

Look at the low pressure north of Hawaii and notice how the North Pacific High’s winds curve so they are SE rather than NE as they stream towards that low pressure.

Looking at the zoomed in 2nd video you can see that this is throwing parts of Maui’s north shore in the lee of the Hana side and the Big Island.

The effect is subtle today and there is wind just outside the north shore so it could still curve in this afternoon. But on days when it is a bit more SSE there has been a wind shadow all day.

The type of low pressure systems you see in the video pass MUCH less frequently and are much more to the north in the summer.

So the crappy wind you saw this winter does not mean the wind will be poor this summer. Unless of course the hints of an El Niño this coming winter arrive early.NPHdistortedCUhawaii