By Jeff King
As powerful winds and unceasing rains swath across Maui County on this first Friday of 2015, gullies, culverts and cul-de-sacs are filling to capacity quickly. In addition, within the past 30 minutes, power has been lost for many customers in Kula and Upper Kula as well as the summit area of Haleakala. Winds at the summit are currently blasting at 50 mph and sometimes more. Gust as high as 95 mph will be possible in exposed Upcountry and windward sites. The community of Haiku is also experiencing power outages tonight.
The best advice we can offer is “hunker down.” Storms like this in the tropics are – thankfully – brief. Thunderstorms and insane downpours are strafing central, west and south Maui at this hour. Rainfall “rates” of 1-2 inches per hour are resulting in ponding and deep water spots. Motorists should not even be out there. If you absolutely must drive – don’t. Call whomever is expecting you to be someplace and inform them you don’t want to become tomorrow’s storm headline.
Here are some of the real-time links to follow closely until at least 1 a.m Saturday. All update automatically in real time:
- Glenn James Maui Weather Today for real-time insights and graphic radar links
- Hawai’i Hydrology reports, where you can “mouse over” time and see what has been and what is coming
- An incredible new Navy weather satellite that literally shows – in color – tonight’s sunset and the green of each island as the power of nature comes and goes
- The National Weather Service for immediate updates of weather advisories that may take up to 30 minutes before local media re-broadcast alerts
- Maui County Civil Defense for up-to-the minute of local condition changes that might create serious hazards
The good news is that “this, too, shall pass.” Meanwhile, for visitors and newcomers to the island, this storm is a good example of how quickly conditions can deteriorate and how seriously to heed warnings and watches. There have been no reports of storm damage or pending perils.
We will bed staying up tonight and updating all watches, warnings and conditions that may threaten life and property on Maui, Moloka’i and Lana’i. What we can tell you is – as of 9 p.m., the island of O’ahu is being pounded by driving rain, flooding swollen creeks and gulches and thunderstorms. They are most likely coming to Maui and the Big Island later tonight and early Saturday. Winds on Moloka’i have already topped 50 mph. Kaua’i has already seen rainfall amounts top three inches per hour.
But by midday Saturday, the sun will be out again.
Enjoy the storm. It’s just one of Nature’s Ways of telling us…”We’re not in charge.”