By Jeff King
WAILUKU – Aside from the fact that I was a TV weatherman in the 90s and studied meteorology at Texas Tech University in the 70s, it doesn’t take that kind of experience to “feel” when a weather event is coming.
Many, many of you feel it too, don’t you? Guillermo will have an impact on us here in Hawai’i.
At 11 a.m. HST today, Hurricane Guillermo was 845 miles east-southeast of Hilo moving toward the west-northwest at 13 mph (more or less a direct path). Maximum sustained winds were 105 mph Guillermo is forecast to continue moving toward the west-northwest through Monday night, with some slight decrease in forward speed expected starting later today or tonight. Some slow weakening is expected during the next couple of days, and Guillermo may begin impacting Maui County as a tropical storm on Wednesday.
Problem is with those storms in our zone that slow down – they often use that time to “Rhonda Rousey” up and get stronger. Maui Weather Guru Glenn The Weatherman James says the storm could be right on the cusp between a tropical storm (max winds of 74 mph) and a Category One hurricane (75-109 mph winds) when he huffs and puffs through the Aloha State.
Each year in the Central Pacific, July and August are the most active months of the season. Remember Flossie ’14? How about Flossie ’13? Oh! and what about Flossie ’14 making a U-Turn? And who can forget (though maybe we’d like to) Hurricanes Julio, Iselle and Ana?
“It’s important for everyone to take advantage of the lead time we have ahead of this storm to make their preparations. Tropical cyclones bring a triple threat of wind, heavy rains and battering surf and we need to prepare for any impacts that may occur, said Emergency Management Officer Anna Foust.
Secure or move inside any loose objects that may become airborne. Clean out gutters and other drainage ways that may become clogged with debris and exacerbate flooding. Stock up on your emergency kit supplies and be prepared for possible power outages.”
- KEEP IN MIND: It is important not to focus too closely on the exact forecast track of Guillermo. It is still too soon to determine with any certainty which islands would be most likely to experience the greatest impacts from the storm. It is also important to note that significant impacts from tropical cyclones can extend well away from the center of the storm.
- LISTEN: Maui Civil Defense Agency, County, State and Federal partners are in close contact with the Central Pacific Hurricane Center and are actively monitoring the situation. As the storm nears the Hawaiian Islands, listen to local media for specific information regarding shelter openings and any cancellations.
- PREPARE: Take this time to review your emergency kit and plans. Navigate to mauicounty.gov/civildefense or www.ready.gov for additional preparedness information and tips.
- STAY INFORMED: Maui Civil Defense Agency will continue to monitor the situation and notify the public if we are placed into a watch or warning. Sign up for Maka’ala notifications at www.mauicounty.gov.
Some may say Maui is Hurricane proof. It’s not. Prepare for the worst and pray for the best. Most of all, let’s look out for each other. Oh, and don’t worry that my middle name (in Spanish anyway) is Guillermo. Coincidence, for sure.