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

Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan, left, and opposition candidate Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, right, prepare to sign a renewal of their pledge to hold peaceful "free, fair, and credible" elections, at a hotel in the capital Abuja, Nigeria, on Thursday.

Amid Violence, Nigerians Go To The Polls To Choose A President

Incumbent Goodluck Jonathan faces off against former military dictator Muhammadu Buhari in what is being described as the closest contest in the history of the West African country.


A German police investigator carries a box after searching an apartment believed to belong to the crashed Germanwings flight 4U 9524 co-pilot Andreas Lubitz in Duesseldorf, on Thursday.

Pilot Who Downed Airliner Vowed ‘To Do Something’ To Be Remembered

Andreas Lubitz is believed to have locked the pilot of the Germanwings Flight 4U 9524 out of the cockpit before deliberately putting the aircraft into a fatal descent.


Saturn has a rocky surface, but it's deep beneath the clouds. That makes it hard to tell exactly how long the day is.

A Day’s A Day The World Around — But Shorter On Saturn

Researchers have finally determined the length of a day on the ringed planet (gas shrouds any landmarks, so it was tough). Precision matters: A faster spin influences the speed of surface winds.


A stone memorial, surrounded by flowers, has been placed near the site in the French Alps where a Germanwings passenger jet crashed on Tuesday (March 24, 2015). Investigators believe the jet's co-pilot brought it down deliberately.

Germanwings Crash: ‘Suicide’ Doesn’t Seem To Tell The Story

Though investigators say it looks like the co-pilot deliberately brought down the jet, killing himself and 149 others, there are reasons not to use that word.


Amanda Knox prepares to leave the set following a television interview on Jan. 31, 2014.

Italy’s Highest Court Overturns Amanda Knox Conviction

The decision puts an end to a story that began in 2009 when Knox was found guilty of murdering 21-year-old Meredith Kirchner two years earlier.


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
Underwriting Payments