Hurricanes near Hawaii

August 7th, 2014 at 2:53 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

5 Day track graphic  [Image of 5-day forecast and coastal areas under a warning or a watch] Sat. AM- Here’s Big Island radar, Hawaii composite radar and current Hawaii weather observations.  Check out damage reports from Hawaii.  So far mostly some scattered trees and power lines down mostly on the Big Island and Maui, about 23,000 without power at some point.  There was some roof damage at Hawaiian Paradise Village (I wonder if that wasn’t a brief, small tornado that hurricanes often spin up).  That appears to be the only location that might have had hurricane force winds (74 mph).  One station had sustained wind of 50 mph with a gust to 71 mph.  Oahu Forest at 2,293 ft. elevation – windward  – had a gust to 72 mph.  To put this in perspective – there were stronger wind gusts, more trees and wires down and more than triple the power outages in the April 12 (Saturday) severe thunderstorm that moved from Muskegon to near Saginaw.   Here’s the latest update on Tropical Storm Iselle.  Iselle is now a weakening tropical depression.  The center of Iselle should pass about 135 miles south-southwest of Kauai on Saturday.  The top of Mauna Kea  reported an east wind of 82 mph with a temperature of 37 at 1 am Friday!  Here’s webcams from Mauna Kea.  Closer to sea level, Kanuela reported heavy rain and a NE wind at 25 mph with gusts in the  to 46 mph.  Route 11 (Keaau to Volcano Hwy) and Route 132 were blocked by downed trees S of Hilo, HI, Hawaii PD reports.  24-rainfall amounts as of 1 pm local time:  Big Island:  14.91″ Kulani, 14.01″ Glenwood, 12.85″ Kakalau, 12.84″ Pali 2, 3.14″ Hilo.  Here’s a map of average rainfall in Hawaii…which varies from 8″ to 404″ with elevation and the prevailing ENE wind big factors in the rainfall disparity.    More Hawaii webcamsMap of the Big Island of Hawaii.  Waves up to 25 feetVideo of big waves (can you see the surfers?).  Honolulu reports less than 1/2″ of rain.   Following Iselle, we have  Hurricane  Julio, which is weakening and will be downgraded to a Tropical Storm  The center of Julio should stay well  north of the islands (see track in the bottom image here).  Iselle (first storm with the more southern track) will have a bigger impact on the islands.  The Big Island of Hawaii’s northeast coast took the hardest hit with gusts to 60 mph and heavy rains that will cause flooding.  All public schools were closed Friday in Hawaii.  BTW – they had a 4.5 magnitude earthquake centered near the NW corner of the Big Island of Hawaii.  There is also super-typhoon Genevieve far west of Hawaii moving over open ocean.

Updated Atlantic hurricane outlook from NOAA calls for increased chance (70%) of below-normal season.

Hurricane Bertha is a plain old low pressure center now moving into NW Europe.  Here’s the last track map on Bertha.     Typhoon Halong will bring heavy rain and strong wind to Japan.   46.14 inches (1172mm) of rain fell in parts of Kochi Prefecture in 72-hours!

Unrelated, but this is for the weather geeks.  From 1999.  Can you believe a Lifted Index of -17 and CAPE of 9485??!!   Time to get familiar with the basement!   ALSO:  NOAA says chance of El Nino this winter down from 75% to 65%.  I’ve been saying strong weak to weak moderate El Nino.  Weak El Ninos can mean cold or snowy winters and early winters in Michigan.  If anyone is saying “Super Nino” or “strong El Nino”…don’t buy it.

The 89-degree high temp in Death Valley, California on Aug 3 broke the previous record low max of 104 deg set in 1945 (15 degrees!).

46 Responses to “Hurricanes near Hawaii”

  1. Travis (Oakland County) says:

    AP is reporting differently still?

    Iselle to give Hawaii first hurricane in 22 years

    Iselle was supposed to weaken as it slowly trudged west across the Pacific. It didn’t — and now Hawaii is poised to take its first direct hurricane hit in 22 years. Tracking close behind it was Hurricane Julio, which strengthened early Thursday into a Category 2 storm.

    1. Mark (East Lansing) says:

      AP = wrong

  2. DarrenSVRstm ( Cedar S ) says:

    When reading the article I get the notion they are searing for a headline , because that’s what attracts readers and if it does arrive as a low end hurricane or strong tropical storm it seems they aren’t overly concerned . When the article leads with this paragraph it definitely should cause one to pause and ask , is this a bit overdone ….?

    HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii’s Big Island got whacked with another natural disaster on Thursday as a 4.5 magnitude earthquake struck before the first of two hurricanes swirling toward the islands was scheduled to hit.

    Whacked with another natural disaster….lol. ( 4.5 earthquake most would sleep right through it )

    1. GunLakeDeb says:

      LOL!! Considering that Hawaii is nothing more than a series of volcanoes, I’d think earthquakes would be fairly common? But with 2 hurricanes approaching, I suspect “paradise” isn’t going to be so great for a while….

  3. Brian(Grandville) says:

    Record cold temps “strange as it may seem” in Death Valley is crazy. I hate it when 89 is the high temp.

  4. Michael g (se GR) says:

    Latest recon only found winds at the surface at around 55 mph. Pressure at 991 mb. Calling it a hurricane anyway.

    1. Brian(Grandville) says:

      Whoops. Nice try I guess, maybe.

    2. Cort S. says:

      I saw a post from Stu Ostro that showed sonde data which measured surface winds of 86 mph at 23 Z.

      Per CPHC’s recent discussion, they also used data from the plane’s stepped frequency microwave radiometer to help set the intensity to 80 mph at 00 Z. I also think that though the pressure is high, it does take time for the well-established wind field to weaken, just as it takes time for a wind field to strengthen after pressure falls.

      That said, I find the media coverage to be somewhat overblown with the talk of hurricane(s) heading for Hawaii. There will likely be technically zero hurricanes hitting it. One caveat, since winds in a tropical system are stronger in the low levels aloft, there may be some land in Hawaii which experiences hurricane-force winds (even if it’s a tropical storm). I think Stu Ostro does a good job of explaining what and why this current situation is interesting or special, and it’s not what the national non-meteorologist reporters are going to be focusing on.

  5. Jack says:

    ISS TONIGHT ::   ISS 09:10:27 pm WSW 09:13:48 87° -4.0 (very bright)

  6. Jack says:

    Where to look up at the sky
    In 2014, the peak of the Perseids meteor shower will coincide with a Waning Gibbous Moon. This will not produce favorable viewing circumstances for observers expecting to get the full effect of this yearly summer experience. With upwards of 80 meteors per hour predicted, it may well be worth staying out to catch quite a few impressive bursts of light streaking through the night sky, even though fainter Perseids may not be visible due to moonlight.

    On average, under completely clear skies, and in complete darkness, observers may witness 50 to 80 meteors per hour; but these rates can exceed up to 120 meteors per hour in rural locations. Be aware that local conditions such as light pollution, cloud cover, and precipitation will also play a major role in the number of meteors you are likely to see.

    For the best viewing experience, find an area unobstructed by a structure that is far away from city lights. Using optical devices such as binoculars or telescopes is not recommended, as your field of view will be greatly restricted, thus making the possibility of missing a “shooting star” more likely.

    Once you have settled down at your observation spot, face half-way up toward the northeastern portion of the sky. Looking northeast, you will have the constellation of Perseus, the radiant of the Perseids shower, within your field of view. Not coincidentally, the Perseids meteor shower is named after the constellation Perseus for the reason that they appear to originate from the sparkling Greek “hero.”

    Looking directly up at the sky or into the radiant is not recommended since this is just the point in which they appear to come from. You are more likely to see a trail when looking slightly away from this point. Looking half-way up into the sky will lead to the best show in the house.

    Watching a meteor shower is sometimes takes a great deal of patience, but if you wait long enough, you should be rewarded with a an experience that won’t soon be forgotten. Happy gazing! :-)

  7. Marilyn/Stanton, MI says:

    Bill, I’m not on the Big Island right now–would be sending you pics again, if I was there! I feel scared watching it from afar! I know how hard the trade winds can blow when they come whistling down Mauna Kea or through the saddle. I can not imagine these hurricane-force winds! That earthquake was only 9 miles from where I live when I am there, but it was 9-10 miles deep and therefore not destructive.

  8. Cort S. says:

    4 tropical systems in the Pacific. Cool site showing surface wind streamlines:,24.81,540

    1. Brian(Grandville) says:

      Cool link Cort, and you can spin the globe too.

    2. Mark (East Lansing) says:

      Bookmarked, thank you.

  9. Mark (East Lansing) says:

    Well, Iselle has weakened (before landfall) to the point it is no longer a hurricane – just as Bill said. Some 4K miles away and Bill still nails the forecast.

    1. Michael g (se GR) says:

      Weird. Travis kept posting that it was supposed to weaken but hadn’t.

      1. Travis (Oakland County) says:

        Weird. You posted earlier that surface winds were only 55 mph. What happened?

      2. Michael g (se GR) says:

        @BigJoeBastardi: last recon before landfall surface wind (D) 49 kts. pressure 1001 mb.. up 20 mb from yesterday Sandy: 945 mb, Irene 952 pre hit recon

    2. Travis (Oakland County) says:


      1. Mark (East Lansing) says:

        74+ mph necessary to be hurricane. Sorry.

        And the winds have weakened by 15 mph in the past 12 or so hours.

        1. Mark (East Lansing) says:


          Iselle, which has brought rain and wind to the Big Island overnight, was downgraded to a tropical storm as it approached landfall, with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph, below the minimum of 74 mph for a hurricane. The storm is poised to become the first hurricane or tropical storm to hit the island chain in 22 years.

  10. Travis (Oakland County) says:

    Hurricane Iselle Makes Landfall on Hawaii’s Big Island

    The Category 1 hurricane—the first to hit the Aloha State in 22 years—crossed over the Puna district on the southeastern part of the island about 9:15 p.m. local time, with maximum sustained winds of about 70 miles an hour, local civil defense officials said. Iselle was downgraded to a tropical storm by about 11 p.m. local time.

    1. Mark (East Lansing) says:

      70 mph = tropical storm, not hurricane.

      1. Travis (Oakland County) says:

        Wasn’t downgraded until 2 hours after landfall. Sorry.

        1. Mark (East Lansing) says:

          Iselle, which has brought rain and wind to the Big Island overnight, was downgraded to a tropical storm as it approached landfall, with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph, below the minimum of 74 mph for a hurricane. The storm is poised to become the first hurricane or tropical storm to hit the island chain in 22 years.

        2. Mark (East Lansing) says:

          Your post also says it had 70 mph winds at the time of landfall. 70 mph is not hurricane force winds.

    1. Travis (Oakland County) says:

      That doesn’t look like an early start to winter to me

      1. Mark (East Lansing) says:


        Seems that extraordinarily long winter just ended.

    2. Nathan (Forest Hills) says:

      I wouldn’t listen to any winter forecasts until October when they know more. Just count on this winter not being as bad as last year. Doesn’t really mean much though

      1. Mark (East Lansing) says:

        I don’t believe any of us would take that seriously. For entertainment purposes only.

  11. Rocky (Rockford) says:

    We will be getting hammered with SNOW this winter! Mark it down! We will have near normal temps and well above normal SNOWFALL! I can hardly wait, however in the neantime I will make the best of the current weather that we are having! Whatt a concept!

    1. Normal temps this winter would suit us all well. We need a break of the extreme cold this winter

      1. Rocky (Rockford) says:

        Normal temps with a lot of snow storms and lake effect snow and clipper snows would be ROCKING!

  12. Rocky (Rockford) says:

    In case you have’nt heard – STILL NO 90′s IN SIGHT! Who knew? The BEST SUMMER EVER lives on!

  13. Rad (Jenison/Hudsonville) says:

    Hard to believe fixxxer hasn’t complained that this is a West MI. Blog, He/She must be chilling out :}

    1. Rocky (Rockford) says:

      Give him time becuase he can not help himself. His warm personality and lack of weather knowledge will be evident very soon! In the meantie just enjoy this great summer weather!!

  14. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

    Its already August 8th summer is sure flying by fast this year. And the weather looks great around here for the next week or more though it is starting to get dry and the chances for rain next week are not real good either.
    With this summer flying by the way it has I can only hope that this winter will fly by as fast but with a weaker El Nino in the offering we could have a cold and snowy winter but its hard to pinpoint how that will play out at this point. There have been times it the past after cool summers where we had a early cold snap in September/October will also see how that plays out this year.
    I had to laugh at the above discussion on Iselle above (well maybe laugh is not the right term to use for a storm) anyway I would not want to put too much emphasis a storm if it was or was not a hurricane. If you were standing on a beach I doubt very much if you could tell the difference between a 74MPH wind between a 70MPH wind. So we could call that a high end Tripical storm or a very low end hurricane. Sort of like in the winter time if we have a “true” blizzard or blizzard like conditions.
    Well ever one enjou this nice sunny Friday.

    1. Mark (East Lansing) says:

      It was pretty silly, actually. 70 or 74, it’s no matter really.

      The point is that Travis wasted no time (eight minutes) to try to disprove/discredit Bill. That’s what is really silly. Bill knows way more than we do, so why even try?

      1. Cort S. says:

        It looked like he used some sort of media article to prove that Iselle was still a hurricane at landfall. But if he went straight to the official source, he would see that it was downgraded to a 70 mph T.S. when the center was still several dozens of miles to the SE of the Big Island… which should be a surprise to no one.

  15. Cort S. says:

    A couple things Bastardi should be aware of…

    Wind speed is not a direct function of minimum central pressure but instead has a closer relationship with pressure gradient. (But wouldn’t a deep minimum pressure imply stronger winds anyway?) No, because you can distribute the change in pressure across distance in different ways. Your typical tropical system will have its pressure gradient tightly packed near the center, but an extratropical system will have its pressure gradient more spread out. Tropical systems have very strong winds which are confined to a smaller area around the center. Extratropical systems with similar central pressures will have weaker winds spread out across a much larger area.

    Using Irene and Sandy’s landfall pressure as a comparison to Iselle’s pressure to justify a certain wind speed is unscientific. Iselle is dying a different death than Irene and Sandy. Irene and Sandy were undergoing extratropical transition (which actually doesn’t mean they were dying, just changing), whereas Iselle is getting sheared to death. Irene and Sandy were huge systems too. The pressure gradient distribution among the two types of storm systems is likely different. If you want to use minimum central pressure as a justification for X wind speed, then the argument could also be turned on its head: Wouldn’t the 945-952 mb pressures in Irene/Sandy justify a Category 3 rating? (The answer is also no.)

    Why is Iselle’s wind speed seemingly so high given its pressure? I’m supposing… First, its strongest surface winds last night were likely only in the NE quadrant were the strongest thunderstorms were. Its eyewall had collapsed earlier, so this was definitely no longer a symmetrical storm. Second, its wind field likely had quite a bit of inertia going for it, but since the pressure rose rapidly, that wind field would remain strong but would be unsustainable; the winds would no longer be focused in a tight vortex and any force such as friction / land interaction could act to rapidly dissipate the winds. Indeed, Iselle looked like crap on satellite and radar as it approached Hawaii yesterday. I bet its strongest winds were isolated and confined to the areas of stronger convection.

    I do have some praise for Bastardi, though. Good job calling out the sensationalism yesterday.

    1. Mark (East Lansing) says:

      Stock photo from Iniki?

    2. DarrenSVRstm ( Cedar S ) says:

      I have been confused in the past with how pressure and ” intensity ” of storms would sometimes not have a direct correlation to wind fields or rather how strong some storms were while others seemed stronger but did not have as impressive pressure measurements. Thanks for shedding some light Cort..!

  16. Abigail says:

    I observed the Perseids last year and it was amazing! I’ve found great viewing information on this site: – Hope you all enjoy the show!

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