Hawaii bracing for rain, wind, surf impacts from major Hurricane Douglas

Katie Ramirez
July 31, 2020

Hawaii avoided a direct hit from Hurricane Douglas and the Category 1 storm was moving away just north of the island chain Monday.

The Hurricane Warning has been canceled for Maui County as Douglas continues its path toward the northwest.

A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area, in this case within the next 18 hours. Gradual weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours, but Douglas is expected to remain a hurricane as it moves near the islands tonight. Kauai would see the worst of the storm in the evening, possibly after dark.

Brenchley also recalled that in 2014, Iselle went from hurricane to tropical storm, then made landfalls on the Big Island and caused significant damage on the Ka'u Coast.

Satellite image shows Hurricane Douglas approaching Hawaii on July 25, 2020.

"We remain uncomfortably close to a risky hurricane here in the state of Hawaii", Robert Ballard, the science and operations officer at the Central Pacific Hurricane Center, said during a teleconference. The estimated minimum central pressure is 975 mb or 28.80 inches.

In its latest update, the hurricane center said Douglas had maximum sustained winds of 90 miles per hour (145 km per hour), moving west-northwest at 16 mph (26 kph) about 90 miles (145 km) east of Kahului.

Up to five inches of rain fell in Corpus Christi and the storm surge was in excess of five feet.

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Civil Defence Administrator for Hawaii County Talmadge Magno said he thinks most people heed warnings and won't test nature.

According to the CPHC, large swells generated by Douglas are expected to affect the Hawaiian Islands this weekend. The CPHC expects: "life-threatening surf and rip current conditions for a couple of days".

STORM SURGE: The combination of higher than predicted water levels, risky storm surge, and large breaking waves will raise water levels by as much as 3 feet above normal tides near the center of Douglas.

While the heart of the storm missed mainland Hawaii, the islands did not emerge completely unscathed.

This morning there is a rare Hurricane Warning for parts of Hawaii as Hurricane Douglas passes dangerously close to the state, bringing gusty winds, flooding rain and life threatening surf. "Total rain accumulations of 5-10" are possible from Maui County westward to Kauai County, with the greatest amounts in elevated terrain. This rain may result in flash flooding and land slides, as well as rapid water level rises on small streams.

Hurricane Douglas did not weaken as expected. The updated intensity forecast once again closely follows the consensus IVCN, and maintains Douglas as a hurricane until it passes west of the islands. Due to the steep terrain of the islands, localized strong wind gusts are expected.

During a Saturday news conference, Hawaii Governor David Ige, said: "We know that it is weakening as it approaches, but it still will have significant impact on each island".

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