By Jeff King
While the wet and wild weather we’ve been encountering over the last 24 hours has nothing to do with Tropical Depression Kilo (3-C), it does easily remind how fragile our tiny islands out here in the vast Pacific Ocean remain.
EVENT: The National Weather Service has CANCELLED the FLASH FLOOD WARNING for MAUI ISLAND. However, A FLASH FLOOD WATCH remains in effect for MAUI COUNTY through 6:00 PM Tuesday. It was extended earlier today from an earlier forecast expiration of 6 p.m. today. Heavy rains that hammered Maui County for more than 12 hours are now focusing their drench-osity on the Big Island.
The National Weather Service (NWS) briefed Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA), local emergency management and civil defense agencies earlier this afternoon, and federal and state partners this morning on changes in Tropical Depression Kilo’s intensity and track.
As of 11 a.m., Kilo was located about 660 miles southwest of Lihue and moving toward the northwest at 7 mph. Kilo is currently moving away from the main Hawaiian Islands, but it is expected to intensify to hurricane strength toward the end of the week, as models show wind shear weakening.
“We are grateful to all of our partners at the local, state and federal levels who have continued to coordinate emergency management and disaster preparedness efforts in Kilo’s wake,” said Vern Miyagi, Executive Officer of HI-EMA. “Although Kilo appears to be turning away from the state, its track and strength have been highly unstable. We urge the public to continue their ongoing preparations for what remains to be an extremely active hurricane season.”
Due to a very moist air mass affecting the entire state, not necessarily associated with Kilo, the public should be prepared to endure continued potential for torrential rains and isolated thunderstorms as the week goes on. High surf will also impact west facing shores Wednesday through Friday due to a typhoon in the west Pacific.
The National Hurricane Center is currently monitoring two tropical disturbances in the eastern Pacific. Forecasters predict an 80 percent chance for development into a tropical cyclone and believe that one of the disturbances will cross into the central Pacific sometime on Thursday.
EFFECTS: Weather radar and rain gages showed that the heavy rains have ended, thus the flood warning is allowed to expire. The heavy rains and flooding have subsided, but runoff is still occurring and streams will remain high for several hours. Several roads and parks on Maui remain closed.
PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES: THE PUBLIC SHOULD REMAIN CAUTIOUS AND ALERT FOR ANY POSSIBLE FLOODING CONDITIONS. DON’T TRY TO CROSS FLOODED ROADWAYS OR FAST FLOWING STREAMS IN YOUR VEHICLE OR ON FOOT. IT MAY BE TOO DANGEROUS. TURN AROUND…DON’T DROWN.
INFORMATION: Maui Civil Defense Agency will continue to monitor the situation. Please listen to your local radio and TV stations or NOAA Weather Radio for any updates. NOAA Weather broadcasts can be reached by calling 1-866-944-5025. NOAA Weather internet services can be found at www.weather.gov/hawaii.
Pre-recorded advisories and notifications are available 24-hours a day on the Maui County Automated Information System (AIS) by calling 986-1200. This same notification can be found on the Maui County website at www.mauicounty.gov.