DISCUSSION: Of increasing interest lately comes the desire to visit warmer locations despite summer’s arrival in the Northern Hemisphere. Hawaii, the United States 50th state often is one of those locations seemingly on everyone’s list, often with winter a great time to visit as temperatures are within just a few degrees of 80 and typically a great time to see the migration of whales from the eastern Pacific into the warmer waters surrounding the island chain.
As Hawaii moves into spring, like the rest of the United States, it comes with a meteorological phenomenon dubbed what locals call Lahaina Noon. Lahaina noon is stated to be a solar occurrence to where the sun passes directly overhead at solar noon. Hawaii is the only state to experience such due to the “subpolar point (the location on a planet where its sun is perceived to be directly overhead, that is where the suns rays are hitting the planet perpendicular to its surface (Ridpath).” For Hawaii and other locations within the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn received the sun’s direct rays as the apparent path of the sun passes overhead before the summer solstice and retreats towards the equator.
According to the US National Weather Service – Honolulu Forecast Office, it is expected that Hilo will see Lahaina Noon May 18th at 12:26PM, Kahului – May 24th at 12:22PM, Honolulu – May 26th at 12:28PM and Lihue – May 31st at 12:35PM (NWS). Viewers can see this sight by standing outside at these times in the stated locations. On these says the sun will appear exactly overhead, any object standing upright will appear to have no shadow.
For this and other information on meteorological and optical phenomena visit the Global Weather and Climate Center for updates!
© Meteorologist Jessica Olsen
Mike Shanahan, Bishop MuseumPosted on April 30, 2017 12:05 am. "Lahaina Noon will strike isles next month." Honolulu Star-Advertiser. N.p., 30 Apr. 2017. Web. 20 May 2017.
Ian Ridpath, ed. (1997). "subsolar point". A Dictionary of Astronomy. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-211596-0. The point on the Earth, or other body, at which the Sun is directly overhead at a particular time.
US Department of Commerce, NOAA, National Weather Service. "National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office." National Weather Service Forecast Office - Honolulu, Hawai`i. NOAA's National Weather Service, 07 Nov. 2004. Web. 20 May 2017.