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High surf advisory in effect for smaller isles as Hurricane Douglas leaves main Hawaiian islands

  • CENTRAL PACIFIC HURRICANE CENTER
                                Hurricane Douglas continued to move away from the main Hawaiian islands this morning.

    CENTRAL PACIFIC HURRICANE CENTER

    Hurricane Douglas continued to move away from the main Hawaiian islands this morning.

UPDATE 11 a.m.

Weather officials today said Hurricane Douglas is the closest a hurricane has come to Oahu in decades — even closer than Hurricane Dot in 1959.

According to preliminary data from the Hurricane Hunters and weather radars, the center of Douglas passed about 30 miles north of Kahuku at about 7 p.m. on Sunday. This appears to be closer than Hurricane Dot, which passed about 60 miles southwest of Oahu’s Waianae coast before making landfall on Kauai in August 1959.

Tropical storm force winds were just within about 10 miles of Oahu’s northern tip, according to satellite, radar and aircraft reconnaissance data..

Fortunately, officials said Douglas encountered wind shear as it approached the Hawaiian isles, which were on the left side of the hurricane’s track during its west-northwest trajectory. This kept the worst of Douglas’s impacts just offshore of all isles.

Highest rainfall amounts over the past 24 hours (ending8 a.m. Monday) include 5.16 inches at Puu Kukui in Mau County, 3.69 inches in Kapahi, Kauai County, and 2.76 inches in Punaluu on Oahu.

Wind speeds reached up to 70 mph at Nene Cabin on Hawaii island, 69 mph at Kula, Maui, 55 mph at Kuakoala on Oahu, and 39 mph at Barking Sands, Kauai.

A hurricane warning remains in effect for portions of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument.

As of 11 a.m., Douglas was located about 190 miles west-northwest of Lihue and 300 miles west-northwest of Honolulu, with maximum sustained winds of 80 mph and moving west at 20 mph.

Douglas is expected to weaken further as it continues on a west to west-northwest track through the remainder of its life, according to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center.

A tropical storm warning is also in effect for portions of Papahanaumokuakea, from French Frigate Shoals to Maro Reef.

A hurricane warning means hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the next 36 hours, and a tropical storm warning means tropical storm conditions are expected within the next 12 to 24 hours.

Papahanaumokuakea is a remote archipelago of islands, reefs and atolls to the northwest of the main Hawaiian isles, and home to thousands of species of fish and endangered wildlife that inhabit this area are found nowhere else on Earth, including the Hawaiian monk seal, green sea turtle and Laysan albatross.

Forecasters, meanwhile, say conditions will remain mostly dry through midweek, as Douglas move to the northwest. Trade showers are expected to increase the second half of the week.

Wind impacts due to Douglas are likely done, but trailing rainbands on the back side of the storm will likely impact Kauai and Niihau through the rest of the day.

Breezy trades are also expected for most of the state.

A flash flood watch remains in effect for Kauai and Niihau.

A high surf advisory for the east shores of Oahu and Kauai, due to residential swell energy from Douglas, remains in effect through 6 p.m. today.

Surf is expected to reach 6 to 10 feet along east shores of Kauai, and 5 to 8 feet along east shores of Oahu, today.

Officials say impacts are moderate, with strong, breaking waves and rip currents, making swimming difficult and dangerous. Beachgoers, swimmers and surfers should exercise caution and heed all advice from ocean safety officials.

A small craft advisory for Kauai northwest waters also remains in effect through 6 p.m. today.

4:45 a.m.

Hurricane Douglas continues to move away from the main Hawaiian islands as weather and surf conditions ease up.

Shortly before 5 a.m., Hurricane Douglas was located 90 miles northwest of Lihue and 190 miles northwest of Honolulu with maximum sustained winds of 90 mph and moving west-northwest at 17 mph, according to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center.

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

An earlier flood advisory for Kauai has expired. However, a flash flood watch remains in effect for Kauai and Niihau remains in effect through this afternoon.

“Moisture and instability from departing Hurricane Douglas will maintain the threat of flash flooding,” according to the National Weather Service. Heavy rainfall up to 3 to 6 inches is still possible for the island, especially for interior and north sections.

As Hurricane Douglas leaves the area near Kauai, tradewinds will gradually return today along with showers for windward and mauka areas, forecasters said.

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All islands managed to avoid Hurricane Douglas which is now moving quickly away from Kauai.

At 2 a.m., Douglas remained a strong Category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 90 mph, but was 60 miles north-northwest of Lihue.

The storm was moving 16 mph west-northwest away from Kauai, prompting the Central Pacific Hurricane Center to cancel a hurricane warning for Kauai County, which includes the islands of Kauai and Niihau.

A flood advisory for Kauai has been extended until 3:45 a.m. and may be extended longer if heavy rain persists.

Emergency shelters on Oahu opened in preparation for Douglas will begin to close at 7 a.m. Monday according to Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell.

Thirteen shelters were opened and at peak capacity, nearly 400 individuals took refuge in the city’s emergency shelters according to a press release.

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