Hurricane Watch Canceled for State

Aug 29, 2016

Credit National Weather Service
Credit National Weather Service

The hurricane watch for has been canceled for the state. 

Hurricane Lester has weakened and continues on a west-northwest track away from the islands.   The Category 1 storm is expected to pass around 125 miles northeast of the islands over the course of the weekend.  Officials still warn the public to be cautious about heavy rain and large surf. 

Friday Afternoon: 

Hurricane Lester has been downgraded to a category 2 storm as it moves along the islands.   O‘ahu and Maui County remain under Hurricane Watch as the storm could still bring high winds, rain and surf to the islands. 

The storm is less than 300 miles east of Hilo moving at 15 mph with sustained winds around 105 mph.  

Forecasts predict the storm will move in a west-northwest direction and weaken over the next few days.

On O‘ahu, the Saturday farmers market at Kapi‘olani Community has been cancelled.  The Okinawan Festival, Aloha Festival opening ceremony, and the Walk to End Alzheimer’s have been cancelled and rescheduled.

The OIA has rescheduled all Saturday games for Monday.

On Maui, the First Friday Wailuku event has been cancelled, as well as the swap meet at UH Maui Community College campus.

All state camping and lodging areas on O‘ahu and Kaua‘i have been closed until Monday.

Most areas of Hawai‘i Volcanoes national park have reopened. Nāmakanipaio Campground, remains closed this afternoon due to tree hazards, but should open Saturday.  Visitors to the park’s coastal areas are reminded that although the hurricane watch was canceled a high surf warning remains in effect for all east-facing shorelines.

Friday Morning: 

Hurricane Lester has been downgraded to a category 2 storm as it moves north up the Hawaiian chain.  

O‘ahu and Maui County remain under Hurricane Watch as the storm could still bring high winds, rain and surf to the islands.   The storm is less than 400 miles east of Hilo moving at 14 mph with sustained winds around 105 mph. 

Thursday Evening:

Hurricane Lester has intensified to a category 3 storm as it continues to approach the islands.  O‘ahu has been placed under Hurricane Watch as Lester creeps closer.  The storm is less than 700 miles east of Hilo moving west at 13 mph and sustaining winds around 110 mph. 

Although forecasters say the storm is not expected to maintain this intensity, they still stress the importance in being prepared should the storm shift slightly.  Lester could still impact Hawai‘i island and Maui County on Saturday with heavy wind and rain.

The Department of Education will reopen public schools tomorrow on Hawai‘i Island, and all schools that we used as emergency shelters closed at 6 this morning. All public charter schools on Hawaii Island will also open tomorrow.

The Coast Guard had reopened ports in Hawai‘i County to prepare for the arrival of Hurricane Lester.  They advise any mariners to proceed with caution and to watch for any debris.

The Volcanoes National Park has reopened visitor centers and most roads, but campgrounds, and coastal lava viewing will remin closed until Hurricane Lester passes.  

Schools on Maui will close at noon tomorrow to prepare for Hurricane Lester. State courthouses, judiciary offices, and state offices in Maui County will close tomorrow at Noon.

On O‘ahu, the Okinawan Festival, Aloha Festival and Walk to End Alzheimer’s have been postponed. 

Thursday Morning: 

Tropical Storm Madeline’s winds have slowed to around 50 mph as it passes south of the Hawaiian Islands. Hurricane Warnings are in effect for Hawaiʻi Island and Maui.

Tropical Storm Madeline is expected to continue passing south of the Hawaiian Islands with maximum sustained winds at 50 mph. A Flash Flood Watch remains in effect for Hawaiʻi County with Tropical Storm Warnings being dropped. However, the state is currently under a wind advisory as forecasters are predicting winds up to 35 mph and gusts as high as 50 mph. 

However, a Hurricane Watch is in effect for both Hawaiʻi and Maui Counties as Hurricane Lester approaches. The storm is still expected to pass to the north of the islands, but remains a Category 2 storm.

Wednesday Evening:

A tropical Storm Warning remains in effect for the Big Island and Maui County. Heavy rains and flooding was reported as well as power outages.  

Hurricane Lester has entered the central pacific and continues to move westward towards the Hawaiian Islands around 900 miles East of Hilo.  The category 2 hurricane has sustained winds near 110 mph.  Some weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours.

Wednesday Afternoon:

Madeline has weakened into a Tropical Storm.  Hawaii Island and Maui County remain under Tropical Storm Warning.   

Wednesday Morning:

Hawai‘i island has been downgraded to Tropical Storm Warning as Hurricane Madeline moves in.  Maui County remains under a Tropical Storm Warning.  Civil Defense warn residents to brace for winds around 75 mph, high surf and upwards of 15 inches of rain. 

Tuesday Evening: 

Hurricane Madeline has been downgraded to a category 1 storm but still has maximum sustained winds of 90 mph. The Big Island remains under a Hurricane Warning while Maui County remains under a Tropical Storm Watch.

Gov. Ige signed an emergency proclamation yesterday ahead of hurricanes Madeline and Lester.  The act authorizes the expenditure of state monies for quick and efficient relief of disaster-related damages, losses and suffering resulting from the storms.  State offices on Hawai‘i Island are closed Wednesday with the exception of workers in emergency service, hospitals, other crucial services.

Emergency shelters are open in select high schools throughout the island.

State public schools, Charter Schools, Kamehameha Schools and U-H campuses on Hawai‘i island will be closed….along with Hawai‘i island courthouses, state parks, campgrounds, and trails.

The Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park will close the visitor centers and the entrance station. 

The governor has also authorized the use of vacation, leave or comp time for state employees in anticipation of road closures.

The storm has been downgraded to a category 1 storm.  It still has maximum sustained winds of 110 mph, though forecasts expect it to weaken slightly through early Thursday.  A Flash Flood Watch as well as a high surf advisory are still in effect for Hawai‘i Island.

Madeline is moving west at 10 miles per hour.  This motion is expected to continue today, followed by a turn toward the west-southwest tonight through early Thursday. On this forecast track, the center of Madeline will pass very close to South Point of the Big Island early Thursday.

In preparation for Hurricane Madeline, the public is advised to be StormReady.  Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit.  Include a flashlight with fresh batteries, cash, first aid supplies, and any medication or supplies specific to you or your family members.

Plan how to communicate with family members.  Create an evacuation plan for your household.  Bring in or secure outdoor furniture and other items that could blow away.  Keep your vehicle fueled and cell phone charged.  To help preserve water availability through the storm, the Department of Water Supply asks customers to minimize non-essential use of water, such as irrigation.

Civil Defense will maintain close communications with the National Weather Service.  Continue to monitor your local radio broadcasts for up-to-date information. 

Tuesday Afternoon: 

Gov. Ige has signed an emergency proclamation ahead of hurricanes Madeline and Lester.  The act authorizes the expenditure of state monies for quick and efficient relief of disaster-related damages, losses and suffering resulting from the storms.  State offices on Hawai‘i Island are closed Wednesday with the exception of workers in emergency service, hospitals, other crucial services.

The governor has also authorized the use of vacation, leave or comp time for state employees in anticipation of road closures.

The storm has been downgraded to a category 2 storm.  It still has maximum sustained winds of 110 mph, though forecasts expect it to weaken slightly through early Thursday.  A Flash Flood Watch as well as a high surf advisory are still in effect for Hawai‘i Island.

Madeline is moving west at 10 miles per hour.  This motion is expected to continue today, followed by a turn toward the west-southwest tonight through early Thursday. On this forecast track, the center of Madeline will pass very close to South Point of the Big Island early Thursday.

In preparation for Hurricane Madeline, the public is advised to be StormReady.  Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit.  Include a flashlight with fresh batteries, cash, first aid supplies, and any medication or supplies specific to you or your family members.

Plan how to communicate with family members.  Create an evacuation plan for your household.  Bring in or secure outdoor furniture and other items that could blow away.  Keep your vehicle fueled and cell phone charged.  To help preserve water availability through the storm, the Department of Water Supply asks customers to minimize non-essential use of water, such as irrigation.

Civil Defense will maintain close communications with the National Weather Service.  Continue to monitor your local radio broadcasts for up-to-date information.

Find more StormReady tips and sign up for notifications at hawaiicounty.gov.  

Tuesday Morning:

The category 3 storm is less than 400 miles east of Hilo, or 600 miles east-southeast of Honolulu.  It still has maximum sustained winds of 120 mph, though forecasts expect it to weaken slightly through early Thursday.  A Flash Flood Watch as well as a high surf advisory are still in effect for Hawai‘i Island. 

Monday Midnight:

A Hurricane Watch has been issued for Hawai‘i Island as Madeline is upgraded to a category 4 hurricane.  A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the next 48 hours.

The storm has sustained winds around 115 mph, and is around 500 miles off of Hilo. 

Monday Afternoon: Madeline is now a Category 3 storm with sustained winds of 115 mph, and less than 600 miles east of Hilo moving west-northwest at 10 mph.

The National Weather Service says the current forecast brings Madeline very close to the Big Island on Wednesday and Thursday and probability of the storm hitting South Point is around 67%.  Depending on the exact track that Madeline takes, strong damaging winds and heavy rainfall are possible. Large and damaging surf is likely for east facing shores as well.

A flash flood watch is in effect. Although some uncertainty remains regarding the track of Madeline, deep moisture associated with the hurricane is expected to impact the Big Island by Wednesday morning, bringing the threat of heavy flooding rainfall through late Thursday.  Surf is expected to build along east facing shores tomorrow to heights upwards of 12 feet, and up to 25 feet on Wednesday. Officials urge those under watch to get ready by securing loose furniture, prepare for extended power outages, and keep informed.

Madeline is being followed by Hurricane Lester which could reach the islands near Labor Day weekend.  The storm is less than 1,700 miles east of Hawaii in the East Pacific moving around 14 mph. 

Monday 12AM

Madeline has strengthened into a hurricane with maximum sustained winds near 85 mph as she moves south of the islands moving toward the west-northwest near 10 mph.  She's less than 750 miles east of Hilo.  This motion is expected to become westerly Monday and Tuesday.  The storm is expected to strengthen slightly through Monday, than begin to weaken Tuesday.

Lester has strengthened into a major category 3 hurricane with maximum sustained winds upwards of 115 mph. The storm is currently less than 1,780 miles east of Hilo.  Little change is expected Monday, and slow weakening should begin on Tuesday. 

Check with the National Weather Service for updates.