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Hurricane Douglas expected to remain near hurricane intensity as it moves over parts of Hawaii Sunday

  • JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Gov. David Ige at a press conference this afternoon to discuss the latest on Hurricane Douglas.

    JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Gov. David Ige at a press conference this afternoon to discuss the latest on Hurricane Douglas.

  • COURTESY NOAA
                                This series of images captured by NOAA today shows the progress of Hurricane Douglas.

    COURTESY NOAA

    This series of images captured by NOAA today shows the progress of Hurricane Douglas.

  • COURTESY CENTRAL PACIFIC HURRICANE CENTER Hurricane Douglas forecast map as of 11 p.m. Saturday.

    COURTESY CENTRAL PACIFIC HURRICANE CENTER

    Hurricane Douglas forecast map as of 11 p.m. Saturday.

UPDATE: 2 a.m.

Hurricane Douglas continued to maintain its intensity as it nears the Hawaiian islands.

The Category 1 hurricane is 190 miles east of Kahului and 285 miles east of Honolulu as of 2 a.m. today. The Central Pacific Hurricane Center said Douglas “will pass dangerously close to the main Hawaiian Islands later today.”

Douglas, which has been located by “Hurricane Hunters,” has 90 mph winds and is moving toward the west-northwest at 16 mph. This motion is expected to continue over the next couple of days.

Though some slow weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours, Douglas is expected to remain near hurricane intensity as it passes the islands.

Saturday, 10:45 p.m.

A hurricane warning was issued for Kauai County tonight as Hurricane Douglas continued its path towards the Hawaiian islands.

The Central Pacific Hurricane Center said the Category 1 hurricane, with winds currently at 90 mph, “will pass dangerously close to the main Hawaiian Islands on Sunday.” Though some slow weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours, Douglas is expected to remain near hurricane intensity as it passes the islands.

Douglas is located 240 miles east of Kahului and 335 miles east of Honolulu as of 11 p.m. tonight. With winds at 90 mph, Douglas is moving toward the west-northwest at 16 mph. This motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days, said the Central Pacific Hurricane Center.

Some slow weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours, but Douglas is forecast to remain near hurricane intensity as it passes the islands.

A hurricane watch and tropical storm warning are in effect for the Big Island and all of Maui County. A hurricane watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the next 12 to 24 hours.

Both Oahu and Kauai County are under a hurricane warning. A hurricane warning means that hurricane conditions are expected within the next 24 to 36 hours.

Also tonight, City and County of Honolulu released a map of areas that could be affected by a possible storm surge. The map can be viewed at http://bit.ly/shelterinplaceorevacuate.

8 p.m.

The arrival of Hurricane Douglas to Hawaiian waters is imminent as the dangerous storm continues on path that threatens to bring high winds, life-threatening surf and flooding rains throughout the islands through Monday.

As of 8 p.m., Hurricane Douglas was located about 295 miles east-southeast of Kahului and about 390 east-southeast of Honolulu with maximum sustained winds of 90 mph. Douglas remains a Category 1 hurricane and was moving west-northwest at 16 mph.

Hurricane-force winds of 74 mph or more extend up to 35 miles from Douglas’ center and tropical storm-force winds of 39 mph or more extend up to 115 miles.

A hurricane warning remains in effect for Oahu, while a hurricane watch and tropical storm warning remained in effect for Hawaii County and Maui County. Kauai County is now under a tropical storm warning. The entire island chain is under a flash flood watch until Monday afternoon.

”On the forecast track, Douglas will be near the main Hawaiian islands late tonight and is expected move near, or over, parts of the state Sunday and Sunday night. … Gradual weakening is expected over the next couple of days. However, Douglas is still forecast to be near hurricane strength when it passes near the islands,” the CPHC said.

The hurricane center warns of Douglas’s “triple threat” of winds, surf, heavy rains. Specifically, they said in the 8 p.m. update that:

>> Hurricane wind conditions are expected on Oahu on Sunday and are possible across Maui County and the Big Island on Sunday. Tropical storm conditions are expected across Hawaii County and Maui County beginning late tonight or Sunday and across Kauai County Sunday night.

>> Large swells generated by Douglas are expected to build tonight and affect the Hawaiian Islands Sunday into Monday, 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.

>> Heavy rainfall associated with Douglas is expected to affect portions of the main Hawaiian Islands from late tonight into 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 could produce 2 to 5 inches of rainfall over the northern half of the Big Island.

5 p.m.

Hurricane Douglas maintained its strength and course toward Hawaii this afternoon and is on pace to start affecting the islands weather, from east to west, starting tonight.

As of 5 p.m. today, Douglas was located about 240 miles east of Hilo and about 430 miles east-southeast of Honolulu with maximum sustained winds of 90 mph.

Douglas, a Category 1 hurricane, was moving toward the west-northwest at 16 mph at 5 p.m. Hurricane-force winds extend out 35 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend out 115 miles.

It is forecast to pass just north of the Big Island overnight, on or near Maui Sunday morning, Oahu by the afternoon and Kauai by Monday.

A hurricane warning remains in effect for Oahu, while a hurricane watch and tropical storm warning remained in effect for Hawaii County and Maui County. Kauai County is now under a tropical storm warning. The entire island chain is under a flash flood watch until Monday afternoon.

“Douglas will be near the main Hawaiian Islands late tonight and is expected move near, or over, parts of the state Sunday and Sunday night. … Gradual weakening is expected over the next couple of days. However, Douglas is still forecast to be near hurricane strength when it passes near the islands,” the CPCH said.

Forecasters said possible hazards include:

>> Hurricane wind conditions are expected on Oahu on Sunday and are possible across Maui County and the Big Island on Sunday. Tropical storm wind conditions are expected across Hawaii County and Maui County beginning late tonight or Sunday and across Kauai County Sunday night.

>> Large swells generated by Douglas are expected to build tonight and affect the Hawaiian islands Sunday into Monday, 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.

>> Heavy rainfall associated with Douglas is expected to affect portions of the main Hawaiian islands from late tonight into 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 could produce 2 to 5 inches of rainfall over the northern half of the Big Island.

2 p.m.

Hurricane Douglas is continuing on a path to approach Hawaii potentially “passing dangerously close to, or over,” the Hawaiian islands late tonight through Sunday night, forecasters said today.

The close passage could bring what forecasters called a “triple threat of hazards,” including damaging winds, flooding from heavy rainfall and dangerously high surf, especially on the east-facing shores.

As of 2 p.m. today, Hurricane Douglas was located about 280 miles east of Hilo and about 475 east-southeast of Honolulu with maximum sustained winds of 90 mph. Douglas is still a Category 1 storm.

A hurricane warning remains in effect for Oahu, while a hurricane watch and tropical storm warning remained in effect for Hawaii County and Maui County. Kauai County is under a tropical storm watch.

Forecasters said hurricane conditions are expected on Oahu Sunday, and potentially across Maui County and Hawaii island late tonight and Sunday. Tropical storm conditions are expected across Hawaii and Maui counties beginning later tonight or Sunday. Tropical storm conditions are possible across Kauai County late Sunday.

“Due to Douglas’ angle of approach to the islands, any small changes in the track could lead to significant differences in where the worst weather occurs. Even if the center remains offshore, severe impacts could still be realized over the islands, as they extend well away from the center,” forecasters wrote.

Douglas was moving toward the west-northwest near 16 mph, and expected to continue in the same motion over the next few days. Douglas is expected to remain on track to near the Hawaiian islands late tonight and move over the other portions of the state Sunday and Monday.

Hurricane-force-wind gusts are possible even within a tropical storm warning area, forecasters said. Winds will be stronger at the upper floors of high-rise buildings.

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1:31 p.m.

Gov. David Ige, state and federal officials urged the public to finish preparations for approaching Hurricane Douglas even as the state grapples with a third consecutive day of record-high new coronavirus-related cases.

John Bravender, who is the warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service, recommended spending the remaining daylight hours today to prepare.

“Be prepared to stay home, shelter tomorrow and stay safe,” he said at a news conference over Zoom today.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell urged people to stay at home on Sunday unless they are making essential trips such as to the grocery store.

Thirteen Oahu shelters will open at 9 a.m. Sunday with proper social distancing measures, Caldwell said during the press conference.”You must wear your face coverings at all times unless you are eating, drinking or sleeping,” he said.

Watch the livestream video above.

11 a.m.

A hurricane warning has been issued for Oahu as Hurricane Douglas weakens but still heads on a course for the Hawaiian islands.

A warning means hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within 36 hours in the area. Hawaii County and Maui County remain under a hurricane watch which means hurricane conditions are possible within 36 hours in the warning area.

As of 11 a.m., the storm was located about 325 miles east of Hilo and about 520 miles east-southeast of Honolulu with maximum sustained winds of 90 mph, which means Douglas is now a Category 1 storm. This is down 15 mph since the 5 a.m. update and significant decrease in strength since Friday when Douglas peaked as a Category 3 major hurricane.

Still, Douglas is expected to be at or near hurricane strength as it nears the islands late tonight and tomorrow and weather officials are urging the public to finish making storm preparations today.

Douglas was moving toward the west-northwest near 18 mph at 11 a.m., and expected to continue in the same motion over the next couple of days with a slight decrease in forward speed today, forecasters said.

Douglas is forecast to be near the north end Hawaii island late tonight and move near or over the other islands Sunday and Monday.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles from the center, while tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 110 miles.

8:10 a.m.

Hurricane Douglas was weakening this morning but still headed on a path toward the Hawaiian islands, according to the 8 a.m. update from the Central Pacific Hurricane Center.

The storm was located 390 miles east of Hilo and 590 miles east-southeast of Honolulu just before 8 a.m., forecasters said. Douglas is a Category 2 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 100 mph and higher gusts, and moving west-northeast at 18 mph.

Hurricane-force winds extend up to 25 miles from Douglas’ center and tropical-storm-force winds extend up to 105 miles.

“This motion is expected to continue with a slight decrease in forward speed today, followed by a slight turn toward the west tonight through Monday,” forecasters said at 8 a.m. “On the forecast track, Douglas will be near the main Hawaiian Islands late tonight through Sunday night.”

Robert Ballard of the CPHC stressed in a press briefing this morning that “folks should be wrapping up preparations today.” He said weather conditions could start deteriorating late tonight on the Big Island, especially the northern half of the island, then moving west up the island change Sunday and Monday.

The latest forecast was aided by data collected on a flight to the hurricane by the U.S. Air Force 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron’s Hurricane Hunter aircraft, according to the CPHC.

Oahu, Maui County and Hawaii island remain under a hurricane watch while Kauai and Nihau are under a tropical storm watch. Maui County and the Big Island are also under a tropical storm warning.The entire state is under a flash flood watch. (See story below.)

PREVIOUS COVERAGE

Hurricane Douglas weakened slightly overnight but remained a dangerous Category 2 storm east of the Big Island early Saturday morning, threatening the entire Hawaiian island chain this weekend.

Oahu, Maui County and Hawaii island remain under a hurricane watch while Kauai and Nihau are now under a tropical storm watch.

Douglas was 440 miles east of Hilo and 645 miles east-southeast of Honolulu with maximum sustained winds of 105 mph, moving west-northwest at 18 mph, the Central Pacific Hurricane Center said in its 5 a.m. update today. Hurricane-force winds extend up to 25 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend up to 105 miles.

On Friday, Gov. David Ige and the four county mayors urged residents to complete preparations for Hurricane Douglas’ expected arrival this weekend.

Forecasters expect Douglas to “dangerously close to, or over,” the islands starting tonight through Sunday night.

“The close passage of Douglas brings a triple threat of hazards, including but not limited to damaging winds, flooding rainfall, and dangerously high surf, especially along east facing shores,” the hurricane center said this morning.

“On the forecast track, Douglas will be near the main Hawaiian Islands late tonight through Sunday night,” they said. ”Gradual weakening is expected through the weekend. However, Douglas is still forecast to be near hurricane strength when it nears the islands.”

The latest five-day track has the storm as a Category 1 hurricane passing just north of the Big Island early Sunday, over or just north of Maui County by afternoon, followed by Oahu.

It is expected to weaken to a powerful tropical storm as it passes near or over Kauai on Monday.

Forecasters reminded the public that it is important “not to focus on the exact forecast track or intensity of Douglas, and remain prepared for changes to the forecast. Due to Douglas’ angle of approach to the islands, any small changes in the track could lead to significant differences in where the worst weather occurs.”

Severe impacts from Douglas can occur far from the hurricane’s center, they added.

The possible hazards from Douglas include:

>> Hurricane-force winds across portions of the main Hawaiian Islands late tonight through Sunday night. Tropical-storm-force winds across Hawaii and Maui counties.

beginning late tonight or Sunday. Tropical storm conditions are possible across Kauai County late Sunday or Sunday night.

>> Large swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions for the next couple of days.

>> 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 National Weather Service in Honolulu has posted several warnings and advisories in advance of Douglas, including:

>> A flash flood watch covers Kauai, Niihau and Oahu from Sunday morning through Monday afternoon; and for Kahoolawe, Lanai, Maui, Molokai and the Big Island from this evening through Monday afternoon. “Intense rainfall will be possible, especially along the windward slopes. Flood prone roads and other low lying areas may be closed due to elevated runoff and overflowing streams. Urban areas may receive more significant flooding and property damage due to rapid runoff.”

>> A high surf warning from 6 a.m. today to 6 a.m. Monday for east-facing shores of Molokai, Maui, Big Island, and Kahoolawe. The weather service predicts “dangerously large breaking waves of 15 to 25 feet, with surf rising Saturday morning and peaking Saturday night through Sunday. Ocean water will surge over the coastline causing possible damage to roadways and other coastal infrastructure. Powerful currents will be present at most beaches. Large breaking waves and strong currents may impact harbor entrances and channels causing challenging boat handling.”

>> A hurricane warning for Hawaiian offshore waters beyond 40 nautical miles out to 240 nautical miles including the portion of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument east of French Frigate Shoals.

>> Tropical storm warnings and hurricane watches cover waters closer to the islands.

This morning’s forecast was aided by data collected on a flight to the hurricane by the U.S. Air Force 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron’s Hurricane Hunter aircraft, according to the CPHC.


For the latest Hurricane Douglas updates, go to 808ne.ws/hurricaneseason.


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