Hurricane Warning Issued for Oahu, Category 1 Douglas Continues on WNW Path Toward Hawaii (2 p.m. Update)
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Douglas has weakened slightly to a Category 1 Hurricane with maximum sustained winds near 90 mph. In the latest forecast issued at 2 p.m. Oahu is now under a Hurricane Warning. Here on Maui, a Hurricane Watch and Tropical Storm Warning remain in effect. Douglas moving toward the WNW at 16 mph and is located about 280 miles East of Hilo (475 miles ESE of Honolulu).
Watches and Warnings:
- A Hurricane Warning has been issued for Oahu. This includes: Central Oahu, Oahu Koolau, Oahu North Shore, Oahu South Shore, Olomana, Waianae Coast and Waianae Mountains
- A Tropical Storm Warning and Hurricane Watch are in effect for Hawaii County and Maui County (including the islands of Maui, Lanai, Molokai and Kahoolawe). This includes: Big Island Interior, Big Island North and East, Big Island Summits, Haleakala Summit, Kahoolawe, Kohala, Kona, Lanai Makai and Mauka, Leeward Haleakala, Maui Central Valley, Maui Leeward West, Maui Windward West, Molokai Leeward and Windward areas, South Big Island and Windward Haleakala.
- A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Kauai County. This includes: for Kauai Leeward, Kauai Mountains, Kauai Windward and Niihau.
What it means: A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours. A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours. A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area, in this case within the next 36 to 48 hours. A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, in this case within the next 36 to 48 hours.
2 p.m. Updates:
At 2 p.m., the eye of Hurricane Douglas was located near latitude 19.7 North, longitude 150.7 West. Douglas is moving toward the west-northwest near 16 mph. This motion is expected to continue through the next couple of days, with a slight decrease in forward speed today. On the forecast track, Douglas will be near the main Hawaiian Islands late tonight and will move over parts of the state Sunday and Monday.
Maximum sustained winds are near 90 mph with higher gusts. Gradual weakening is expected through the weekend. However, Douglas is still forecast to be near hurricane strength when it nears the islands.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles.
Situation Overview Outlined by the Central Pacific Hurricane Center:
Hurricane Douglas may bring damaging winds, heavy rainfall, and high surf to parts of Hawaii beginning as early as tonight in the eastern portion of the state and then spreading westward on Sunday.
Douglas is forecast to move near or directly over portions of the smaller islands on Sunday. While Maui and the Big Island would be first to experience impacts, do not focus on the exact forecast track or intensity of Douglas at this time, as impacts can occur well away from the tropical cyclone center. Any deviation from the current forecast track through the area will significantly effect the level of impacts realized in Hawaii. It is also important to note that the mountainous terrain of the islands can produce localized areas of highly enhanced winds, even well away from the tropical cyclone center.
Flooding rain will be possible as early as tonight on Maui and the Big Island, and chances for flooding will increase for much of the state on Sunday. The flood threat could persist into Monday for some islands, especially over the western end of the state. Storm total rainfall accumulations of of 5 to 10 inches, with locally higher amounts to 15 inches, will be possible. While the highest rainfall will favor windward and northern facing slopes, leeward and southern facing slopes could also experience flooding.
Large swells arriving ahead of Douglas will produce dangerous surf along exposed east and north facing shores. Seas will build rapidly from east to west across the exposed coastal waters as Douglas approaches and moves across the area. A combination of higher than predicted water levels, storm surge, and warning-level surf will lead to significant beach erosion, with water potentially overwashing onto vulnerable low-lying coastal roads, especially at and around the daily high tides.
Potential Impacts outlined by the Central Pacific Hurricane Center:
WIND: Hurricane conditions are expected on Oahu on Sunday and Sunday night and are possible across Maui County and the Big Island late tonight and Sunday. Tropical Storm conditions are expected across Hawaii County and Maui County beginning late tonight or Sunday. Tropical Storm conditions are possible across Kauai County late Sunday.
SURF: Large swells generated by Douglas are expected to affect the Hawaiian Islands during the next couple of days, and storm surge of 2 to 4 feet above normal tides is expected near the center of Douglas. The large swells and surge will produce life threatening and potentially destructive surf along exposed shores.
RAINFALL: Heavy rainfall associated with Douglas is expected to affect portions of the main Hawaiian Islands from late tonight through Monday. Total rain accumulations of 5 to 10 inches are possible from Maui County westward to Kauai County, with the greatest amounts in elevated terrain. This rain may result in life-threatening flash flooding and land slides, as well as rapid water level rises on small streams. Douglas is expected to produce 2 to 5 inches of rainfall over the northern half of the Big Island.
*The next intermediate advisory will be issued at 2 p.m. (and updated here). The next complete advisory will be issued at 5 p.m.