SATELLITE DISCUSSIONBased on data through 0000 UTC December 14 2016.
A messy frontal band continues to move east near 30 mph. The frontal band is marked by a wide area of overcast layered clouds with scattered thunderstorms within 150 miles either side of a line from north of 30°N 143°W to 20°N 148°W then weakens and thins to a 50 mile wide band of cumulus /cu/ and towering cumulus /tcu/ from 20°N 148°W through 17°N 154°W. The main portion of the front is being supported by an upper level trough, with its axis running from north of 30°N 148°W to 18°N 148°W, as seen on the water vapor imagery. Most of the thunderstorm activity is between 19°N and 22°N along the front and maximum cloud tops north of 20°N are upwards of 43 thousand feet. South of 20°N, TCU tops reach near 18 thousand feet. A jet on the far eastern flank of the upper level trough is helping to carry a broad area of high level clouds northeast. The area of clouds is mainly within 200 miles either side of a line from 30°N 134°W to 12°N 139°W.
A second weaker front intersects the far northwestern corner of the area. The leading edge of the frontal band runs from north of 30°N 169°W to west of 23°N 180°W with broken cu and TCU filling in 200 miles to the northwest. Maximum cloud tops are near 17 thousand feet. Broken to overcast high clouds are within 100 miles either side of a line from 34°N 170°W to 27°N 173°E. West of 170°W, the high clouds spread to within 200 miles of a line from 34°N 158°W to 34°N 170°W.
The intertropical convergence zone remains fairly quiet this afternoon with most layered clouds remaining south of 10°N and only few thunderstorms. A third area of high clouds between 15°N and 10°N are moving to the east from west of 180°W through 150°W. The high clouds are moving along an area of westerly winds.
The conditions over the main Hawaiian islands remain quiet this afternoon. Scattered cu and stratocumulus /sc/ are passing from the north to the south over the islands. Areas along the north facing slopes on Kauai Oahu and Molokai have scattered low clouds. Broken low clouds fill in over the north slopes of Haleakala and the west Maui mountains. The development of sea breezes this afternoon have allowed for broken low clouds to build up along the south and west slopes of Haleakala. Lanai has scattered to broken low clouds. Remaining areas on the smaller islands have very few clouds. Over the Big Island, scattered to broken low clouds cover the northeast portion of the island from Upolu Point to Hilo. The Puna and Kau districts have overcast low clouds built up. The rest of the Big Island has few clouds, including the summits. The tail end of the front mentioned above is approximately 175 miles southeast of South Point Hawaii.
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