By Jeff King
Looking like an eerie and malevolent face peering toward space, the eyes of two hurricanes continue to rumble toward the Aloha State. Picture the image here – with Hilo just barely out of frame in the path of Madeline. As of 6 a.m. today, Kahului stands a 31 percent chance of encountering tropical storm conditions. At the very least, Maui and the Big Island will see large rainfall amounts, damaging east-shore surf and surge and high winds. Then there will be Lester, expected to pass by slightly north of Maui – which could bring high winds from the southwest and south.
Maui weather guru Glenn James offers the lastest and most accurate information on storms like these. Follow his track here.
Updated expected impacts from hurricane Madeline for Maui county and the Big Island, along with new wind speed probabilities based on the latest information provided in the 5 am Central Pacific Hurricane Center (CPHC) advisory.
Hurricane Madeline is forecast to approach the state from the east through tonight, with the latest Central Pacific Hurricane Center forecast bringing Madeline very close to the Big Island Wednesday through early Thursday. Based on the current track, strong damaging winds and very heavy rainfall is likely across the Big Island and Maui county. In addition, large and damaging surf is expected along east facing shores of the Big Island and Maui. Surf will begin to rise this afternoon, and reach dangerous levels later tonight through Wednesday night.
The chance for tropical storm conditions at Hana is 35 percent, at Kahului is 31 percent, at Lanai city is 32 percent, and at Kaunakakai is 25 percent. The onset of tropical storm conditions could occur as early as late Wednesday afternoon or Wednesday evening.
Although changes are still possible, the latest forecast is for sustained winds to remain below tropical storm force of 39 mph. Only a slight change in track to the north, could result in tropical storm force winds across portions of Maui county.
Large and damaging surf is expected along east facing shores of east Maui. Surf will build today, and peak at 12 to 18 feet tonight through Wednesday night. This may cause significant wave runup or damage to coastal properties and infrastructure, including roadways. Powerful longshore and rip currents will be present at most beaches. Large breaking waves and strong currents may impact harbor entrances and channels causing challenging boat handling. Although surf heights will be lower along east facing shores of west Maui and Molokai, surf heights will reach advisory levels of 5 to 9 feet tonight through Wednesday night.
For those under a warning, your preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion. In a tropical cyclone, conditions can change quickly. Evacuate if directed to do so by local officials, or if your home is vulnerable to high winds or flooding. Cancel any beach activities until further notice. Persons living near the shore should be prepared to evacuate quickly should building surf threaten.
People under a watch should continue making preparations and listen for possible warnings.
Closely monitor NOAA weather radio or other local news outlets for official storm information. Listen for possible changes to the forecast.
Loose objects such as lawn furniture, garbage cans, and other items should be secured or stored indoors. Have supplies on hand and be ready for power outages. Evacuate if ordered by local officials.
The next local statement will be issued around 12:30 pm HST today, or sooner if conditions warrant.
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