Maui News

Hurricane Watch Issued as Madeline Approaches Hawaiʻi

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Madeline forecast track. Image NOAA/NWS/CPHC.

Madeline forecast track. Image NOAA/NWS/CPHC.

UPDATE: Monday, Aug. 29, 11 a.m.

The National Weather Service in Honolulu has issued a Hurricane Watch for Hawai‘i Island for Hurricane Madeline, which is approaching the state from the east.

A hurricane watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the next 48 hours somewhere within the specified areas.

A flash flood watch is in effect for the Big Island from Wednesday through Thursday night.

A high surf warning is in effect for east facing shores of the Big Island from Tuesday through Thursday.


At 11 a.m. Today, the center of Hurricane Madeline was located about 630 miles east of Hilo.

Hurricane Madeline is moving west-northwest at 10 mph. Maximum sustained winds are near 115 mph.

A watch is typically issued 48 hours before the possible arrival of tropical storm force winds. A watch is the time to prepare for the storm.

A warning is typically issued 36 hours before the expected arrival of tropical storm force winds. A warning is the time to finish storm preparations and to begin moving to safe shelter.

ORIGINAL POST: Aug. 29, 8 a.m.


Two tropical systems, Madeline and Lester, could pose hazards to Hawai‘i from the middle of the week into Labor Day weekend.

Hurricane Madeline is first in line to bring impacts to the Hawaiian Islands around midweek, with Hurricane Lester expected to follow on its heels around Labor Day weekend.

The Central Pacific Hurricane Center in Honolulu has issued advisories on Hurricane Madeline, located about 650 miles east of Hilo, based on the data available at 8 a.m., Monday, Aug. 29.

While Madeline and Lester are hurricanes at this time, both are expected to weaken by the time they reach Hawai‘i.

Latest indications suggest that Madeline will continue its westward path before taking a slight jog to the south as it approaches the Big Island on Wednesday, according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Ed Vallee.


On its approach, Madeline will kick up rough surf and rip currents, especially along the east-facing beaches.

At this time, the greatest threat for flooding downpours and gusty winds are expected to focus on eastern portions of the Big Island. Sporadic power outages are possible.

The severity of the wind and rain associated with Madeline will largely depend on how close the storm tracks to the Big Island.

“Even if the center narrowly misses the Big Island to the south, heavy rain may still be a concern, especially on the north- and east-facing slopes of the mountains, as tropical moisture funnels in,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Krissy Pydynowski said.

More severe impacts would occur if the storm’s track passed directly over the islands, a scenario which is becoming less likely.

Although Madeline will depart late this week, the seas will have little time to settle down as Lester will be on its approach to the islands at the beginning of Labor Day weekend.

Flooding problems could be compacted if Lester follows in Madeline’s footsteps or tracks directly over the islands.

Another scenario is that Lester gets steered towards the north and west as it approaches the islands. In this case, northern portions of the Big Island, Maui, Moloka‘i, O‘ahu and Kaua‘i could be impacted by rain and gusty winds. A track too far to the north and west would bypass the islands completely.

“It is possible that either or both storms steer away from the islands with the only impacts being to swimmers and boaters from rough surf,” Pydynowski said.


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