HONOLULU — The Coast Guard Captain of the Port continues to closely monitor the movement of Hurricane Ignacio and based on the storms current trajectory to the northwest it does not appear that the closure of commercial ports in the Hawaiian Islands will be necessary. However, ports on the Big Island, Maui and Moloka’i are under a readiness condition that could prompt immediate evacuation with one order.
While Ignacio remains a very powerful category Three hurricane, the predicted shearing and weakening is, according to Maui Weather Guru Glenn James, beginning to happen. He reports:
“Based on the most recent advisory, Hurricane Ignacio is now at category 3 strength…with 115 mph sustained winds. Going forward from here, it looks like we’ll find a definite weakening hurricane throughout the remainder of its life. Nonetheless, we’ll be dealing with a relatively close call by what will have been down graded to tropical storm Ignacio. The exact distance offshore of this tropical storm, will have a bearing on how strong or light our local winds become in different parts of the state. We’re hoping to see this storms center remain well offshore, which would help to limit our exposure to winds directly associated with Ignacio.
Of Interest: The Central Pacific has never had two Category 4 tropical cyclones simultaneously…such as we’ve seen recently!”
As a precaution, the Coast Guard COTP has moved the ports of Hilo and Kawaihae on the Big Island and the ports of Kaunakakai and Kahului in Maui County to Condition X-Ray (III): The READINESS condition in which winds above 34 knots (39 mph) are expected within 48 hours.
The Port Conditions of Kalaeloa and Honolulu on Oahu are Whiskey (IV): The ALERT condition in which winds above 34 knots (39 mph) are expected within 72 hours.
There is no upgraded Port Condition set for Kauai at this time. As a reminder, Port Conditions are subject to change based on the projected path and intensity of Ignacio.
The Port Conditions are:
Condition Hurricane Season Preparedness (V): Seasonal readiness, 1 June – 30 Nov.
- Condition Whiskey (IV): The ALERT condition in which winds above 34 knots (39 mph) are expected within 72 hours.
- Condition X-Ray (III): The READINESS condition in which winds above 34 knots (39 mph) are expected within 48 hours.
- Condition Yankee (II): The WARNING condition in which winds above 34 knots (39 mph) are expected within 24 hours.
- Condition Zulu (I): The DANGER condition in which winds above 34 knots (39 mph) are expected within 12 hours and until the storm has passed and is no longer a threat.
The Coast Guard will continue to Broadcast Notice to Mariners and send out a Marine Safety Information Bulletin to notify the maritime community of port condition changes. Additionally, all maritime users are requested to monitor the progress of this hurricane and make preparations accordingly.