Nation & World News

Hawaii, Which Almost Never Has Hurricanes, Is Getting Ready For 2

By Chris Hopkins on August 6th, 2014

Hawaii is preparing for two major storms this week, beginning with Hurricane Iselle, which is expected to weaken to a tropical storm by the time it arrives on Thursday. Hurricane Julio is expected to hit Saturday, again after weakening into a tropical storm.

Hawaii Public Radio‘s Bill Dorman tells our Newscast unit that residents and tourists are getting ready for the heavy rains, rough seas and 60 mph winds expected from the storms:

“School officials across Hawaii County and Maui County have already cancelled classes for Thursday.

“The same day, the National Weather Service says a flash flood warning will cover the entire island chain.

“That includes the most populous island of Oahu … home to Honolulu, Pearl Harbor, and the tourist magnet of Waikiki Beach.”

Hurricanes have struck the archipelago before, The Associated Press reports, but only rarely, and recent strikes have had little impact:

“Hawaii is a small target in the big ocean, so it just has to be really good timing and the conditions have to be right for us to get a direct hit,” said Eric Lau, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Honolulu.

Hawaii has been directly hit by hurricanes only three times since 1950, though the region has had 147 tropical cyclones over that time. The last time Hawaii was hit with a tropical storm or hurricane was in 1992, when Hurricane Iniki killed six people and destroyed more than 1,400 homes in Kauai, Lau said.

“We’ve been lucky so far. So we just need to really take this threat seriously and make sure everybody is prepared,” he said.

Weather Channel blogger Steve Lyons wrote in 2007 that the wind shear also helps the islands avoid tropical weather:

“The Tropical Upper Tropospheric Trough (called TUTT for short) rules the high levels of our weather atmosphere there and creates winds typically too fast for development of a hurricane and too fast for an approaching hurricane from the east to remain a hurricane. That is why quite a few remnant tropical circulations go by south, north, or occasionally through the islands, but rarely does a tropical storm or hurricane [reach them].”

Honolulu’s Department of Emergency Management urges residents to have seven days’ worth of supplies on hand.

“With Hawaii’s remoteness it could be as long as a week before a full disaster relief operation can be initiated,” the department says in a statement.

Officials also encouraged residents to vote early in the state’s primary election, scheduled for Saturday, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This entry was posted in News from NPR. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

 

More Stories in News from NPR

In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, a former Red Cross official says, as many as 40 percent of the organization's emergency vehicles were assigned for public relations purposes. This photo, which shows one of the trucks on Long Island, N.Y., in January 2013, is one example of the many publicity photos taken by the Red Cross.

Red Cross Responds To NPR/ProPublica Report On Storm Response Inefficiencies

An NPR investigation revealed how the emergency organization funneled its resources away from storm victims to create an “illusion of mass care.” The Red Cross tells PBS NewsHour that’s not true.


Sweden Recognizes Palestine, Drawing Sharp Israeli Criticism

Israel’s foreign minister says diplomacy is “more complicated than … furniture from IKEA.” His Swedish counterpart responds that diplomacy, like IKEA furniture, needs “a partner … [and] a manual.”


A 2009 photo of Boston Mayor Tom Menino, who served for 20 years before stepping down this year. He died on Thursday.

Thomas Menino, Boston’s Longest-Serving Mayor, Dies At 71

Described as a hard-nosed, old-school pragmatist, he was diagnosed with cancer shortly after leaving office in January.


The new crash test dummy — not this one — will weigh 271 lbs and have a body mass index of 35. Automakers use the dummies to prove their vehicles are roadworthy.

New Crash Test Dummy To Gain Pounds To Reflect Fatalities Among Obese

Obese occupants of a vehicle are up to 78 percent more likely to die in a car crash than someone of average weight, says the CEO of Humanetics, the world’s largest maker of crash test dummies.


GDP Posts Strong 3.5 Percent Growth Rate In 3rd Quarter

The economy performed better-than-expected in the July-September period, after making a 4.6 percent jump in the second quarter of the year.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments