Douglas Intensifies to Major Category 3 Hurricane (11 p.m. Update 7.22.20)
DOUGLAS BECOMES A MAJOR CATEGORY 3 HURRICANE (Update: 11 p.m. 7.22.20)
At 11 p.m. HST, Hurricane Douglas was located about 1470 miles ESE of Hilo, Hawaiʻi (near latitude 13.1 North, longitude 134.0 West). Douglas is moving toward the west-northwest near 17 mph and this general motion is expected to continue through Saturday, according to the latest update issued by the National Hurricane Center.
Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 120 mph with higher gusts, making Douglas a Major Category 3 hurricane. The National Hurricane Center reports that some additional strengthening is possible on Thursday with gradual weakening forecast to begin by early Friday.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 105 miles.
According to the National Hurricane Center, “Douglas is expected to move near or over portions of the Hawaiian Islands this weekend, and there is an increasing chance that strong winds and heavy rainfall could affect portions of the state beginning on Sunday. Interests on the Hawaiian Islands should continue to monitor the progress of Douglas and the official forecasts as they evolve over the next few days.”
Mayor Victorino and Maui Emergency Management Agency Make Preparations:
Maui Mayor Michael Victorino said the system may bring heavy rains and possible flooding and some high winds to Maui County.
“Hurricane Douglas continues on its track to Maui County and the Hawaiian Islands. The hurricane is expected to strengthen over the next couple of days… Based upon the current track and speed of the storm system, experts believe Hawaii could experience impacts by Sunday and into Monday morning,” said Herman Andaya, Administrator of the Maui Emergency Management Agency, who noted that the forecast could change and encouraged the public to stay tuned for updates.
Andaya advised residents to prepare for possible heavy rains and flash flooding. Due to COVID-19 safety restrictions, he said Maui County has limited shelter space available and needs more American Red Cross volunteers. Those interested can contact Jenny Worth, Disaster Program Manager for Maui County at [email protected] or (808) 264-8785.
He advised that the public should “make preparations now to possibly shelter in place at your home or at a family or friend’s home.”
“All residents should have a plan and make a 14-day emergency kit,” said Andaya.
2 to 6 Tropical Cyclones Predicted for Central Pacific this Hurricane Season
The hurricane season in Hawaiʻi runs from June 1 through November 30. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center is predicting a near normal 2020 hurricane season. For the season as a whole, 2 to 6 tropical cyclones are predicted for the Central Pacific basin. This number includes tropical depressions, named storms and hurricanes.
With Storm Approaching Governor Ige & HI-EMA Issue Hurricane Safety Reminders
Governor David Ige was joined by Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency Administrator Luke Meyers on Tuesday for a Facebook live to talk about hurricane preparedness amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meyers noted that HI-EMA has been tracking a number of storms so far this year. While the peak for hurricanes usually occurs in late summer, Meyers said, “It only takes one storm to impact the islands, so we have to keep our guard up.” Meyers also highlighted six things residents should keep in mind this season to prepare:
- Know the hazards where you live, work, and play
- Sign up for weather alerts to stay up to date
- Develop an emergency plan with your family
- Build a 14-day emergency supply kit, this year including masks and hand sanitizer
- Consider hurricane or flood insurance if you’re in a high-risk area
- Consider structural mitigation like hurricane clips or shutters