HONOLULU — The National Weather Service (NWS) briefed Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA), local emergency management and civil defense agencies, and federal and state partners this morning about Hurricane Olaf, which has reached Category 4 strength.
The center of the system is currently located approximately 1,115 miles east-southeast of Hilo and moving towards the west-northwest at 10 mph. Forecasters expect Olaf to turn toward the north, and begin moving northeast over the weekend. However, the exact timing of the anticipated turn is somewhat uncertain at this stage.
Due to the strength of the storm, high surf is expected to impact east-facing shores of all islands. Hawaii Island and Maui County will likely see rising surf heights on Wednesday, and warning level surf heights (15-20 feet) on Thursday. Surf heights on Oahu and Kauai shores will begin rising on Thursday, and may reach advisory level heights (10-15 feet) starting on Friday.
HI-EMA and its partners continue to closely monitoring the storm, and recommend the following precautions to the public as Hurricane Olaf remains in the Central Pacific:
- Listen to ocean safety officials and exercise caution if entering the water as high surf messages are issued.
- Read the Hawaii Boater’s Hurricane and Tsunami Safety Manual for recommended precautions to protect your boat prior to a storm at http://seagrant.soest.hawaii.edu/sites/default/files/publications/web-final_hurricaneboatersmanual_7-01-13.pdf.
- Check with local officials and the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), especially if you plan to camp next week. Parks may be closed depending on the weather forecast. Visit the DLNR website at http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/blog/category/news/ for the latest closure information.