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High altitude climate of the island of Hawaiʻi

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Item Summary

Title: High altitude climate of the island of Hawaiʻi
Authors: Da Silva, Sara Vanessa Couto
Keywords: meteorology
Mauna Loa Observatory
Mauna Kea
Issue Date: May 2012
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2012]
Abstract: This thesis describes the results of a climatological investigation of observations taken at the Mauna Loa Observatory from 1958 through 2010 and observations taken at the summit of Mauna Kea from 1982 through 2010. In addition to diurnal and annual cycles, and the inter-annual variability associated with ENSO, the extremes in temperatures and wind are also presented. Finally, the relationship between the climates of Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea is described. It is observed that both Mauna Kea summit and MLO have two seasons, Hoo-ilo and Kau. During The Hawaiian summer the temperatures are warmer, the trade wind pattern dominates the wind flow and dry weather is likely. During Hawaiian winter, the passage of mid latitude fronts, Kona storms and also the weakening of the trades, bring wetter conditions, lower temperatures, and stronger winds to the islands. The wind blows the majority of the time from the Northeast through the East at Mauna Kea summit while it blows mainly from the Southeast at MLO. During The Hawaiian winter the wind shifts at both sites to directions to a westerly direction, influenced by the passage of frontal systems and storms, while during Hawaiian summer the wind blows mainly from easterly directions, influenced by the enhanced Hawaiian High Pressure. A strong mountain--valley circulation is observed at MLO that is not observed at the Mauna Kea summit. Both sites are influenced by ENSO phases. During El Niño the winters are drier and warmer, and during La Niña the winters are wetter and cooler when compared to climatological values. The prevailing wind directions change with ENSO phases as well, being more from the easterly directions during La Niña and westerly during El Niño.
Description: M.S. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2012.
Includes bibliographical references.
Appears in Collections:M.S. - Meteorology

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