By Jeff King
Tropical Storm Darby is wobbling this way from the Eastern Pacific Ocean. The storm – on the radar of meteorologists since last week – is on a track that could (emphasize “could”) bring it across Maui County and the Big Island. In the abundance of caution, the National Weather Service is asking us all to get ready. The storm has moved into the Central Pacific area of jurisdiction and concern.
In addition, Maui County Civil Defense has just issued a Tropical Storm Watch in effect roughly between now and Sunday. If Darby gets close, we would begin feeling the effects by tomorrow night with stronger tradewinds than usual. High surf has already reached east-facing shores ahead of any storm activity.
Maui Weather guru Glenn James offers the latest and most reliable updates and input on storms threatening us in Hawai’i.
EVENT: The National Weather Service has ISSUED a FLASH FLOOD WATCH for MAUI ISLAND in effect from Friday night until Sunday afternoon.
A Flash Flood Watch means that conditions may develop that lead to flash flooding.
EFFECTS: Tropical storm Darby is expected to continue to approach the state. Depending on the exact track, there is the possibility of intense rainfall and flash flooding this weekend. The greatest risk of flash flooding will be to east and southeast facing slopes.
In addition to flood prone areas, heavy rain events of this size may cause flooding in areas outside the designated flood zones. Low spots in roads can become dangerous and impassable due to severe runoff. High amounts of debris in streams and gulches may clog bridges and culverts resulting in dangerous flooding which could occur outside the normal channels, and could also lead to significant property damage.
PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES: PLEASE CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE WEATHER FORECAST AND HAVE A RELIABLE WAY TO GET WARNINGS FOR YOUR LOCATION. BE PREPARED TO TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION IF FLASH FLOOD WARNINGS ARE ISSUED. CAMPERS AND HIKERS SHOULD CONSIDER RESCHEDULING THEIR OUTING TO A TIME WHEN WEATHER IS EXPECTED TO BE MORE FAVORABLE.
REMEMBER…IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE RAINING HEAVILY WHERE YOU ARE FOR FLASH FLOODING TO OCCUR.
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 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 mauicounty.gov.