Hawaii Hurricane Darby

Category 4 Darby Coming | Hawaii Visitor Hurricane Preparedness

Major Category 4 Hawaii Hurricane Darby is on track to be not far from the Hawaiian Islands later this week. It’s the first one of the year. At the moment, all indications are for a favorable pass-by as a greatly weakened storm. Darby sits nearly 2,000 miles east of Hawaii and is moving west today, then northwest tomorrow. With hurricane season in Hawaii occurring between June and December, our post today also has advice on what to do if you visit during the last half of each year.

With winds up to 140 mph and above today, Darby is a category 4 hurricane. Intensity is scheduled to peak tomorrow, and it should be waning thereafter. While we’re counting on that heavily, we also know from personal experience here on Kauai, that hurricanes can change plans abruptly. Let’s hope not this time.

For now, a mere remnant of Darby is currently scheduled to arrive in the islands by this weekend, and with it will come the possibility of widespread rain.

The official Hawaii hurricane season began just a month ago (June 1) and runs until December. Hurricanes making landfall in Hawaii are rare. The last hurricane to hit Hawaii was 30 years ago when Hurricane Iniki decimated the islands, primarily Kauai. Even after almost three decades, hurricanes in Hawaii are something those of us here always keep in mind. It reminds us that we are on small islands in the middle of the Pacific without any place to escape.

2022 Hawaii Hurricane Predictions 

NOAA has said we have a 60% likelihood of below-normal tropical storm activity in the Central Pacific between now and December. That leaves a 30% chance of normal activity and a 10% chance of above-normal. From 2 to 4 storms are predicted to enter the Central Pacific including tropical depressions and hurricanes. That compares to a normal season which contains 4 to 5 such storms.

NOAA said, “This year we are predicting less activity in the Central Pacific region compared to normal seasons. The ongoing La Niña is likely to cause strong vertical wind shear making it more difficult for hurricanes to develop or move into the Central Pacific Ocean.”

“Hurricane Iniki, a major hurricane, directly hit Kauai 30 years ago this year, and those impacted still remember the incredible destructive power Iniki delivered,” said Chris Brenchley, director of NOAA’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center. “Throughout the state of Hawaii, we must take note that the possibility of a hurricane in these islands is real. Heed the advice of public safety officials. Make a preparedness plan, and communicate it to your friends and family. Together, we can make our communities more weather-ready and resilient.”

NOAA increases hurricane technology.

This March, the GOES-18 satellite was placed into orbit. Forecasters are using it to track and forecast tropical cyclones and other storms in the Pacific.

In addition, NOAA is ramping up its supercomputing capabilities that allow “more detailed, higher-resolution Earth Models that can handle larger ensembles, advanced physics, and improved data assimilation.” This massive boost along with better science will allow for forecast model upgrades for years to come.

Hawaii Travel Checklist For 2022 Pacific Hurricane Season

  • First aid kit. Always good to travel with one no matter the season. Great ones are starting at under $10 online and at stores.
  • Essential medications with an adequate supply should something unforeseen occur which extends your Hawaii vacation.
  • Water and non-perishable food on hand during your trip. Stores in Hawaii become depleted of most products almost immediately whenever a remote possibility of a hurricane is mentioned.
  • Airlines may permit you to change your Hawaii vacation plans in the event of a hurricane in the Central Pacific basin.
  • Travel insurance is always something to at least consider because you can obtain protection for substantial, non-refundable expenses. Remember that trip insurance must be bought and in effect before the development of a specific hurricane, to be covered.
  • Keep your car gas tank filled at one-half or more.
  • Save extra cash for emergencies. ATMs may not work in the event of trouble.

Here’s a reminder to ourselves and others who live here in Hawaii.

  • Propane tanks kept towards full.
  • Keep plastic tarps and plywood on hand for emergencies.
  • Clean unused trash cans for drinking water storage.
  • Keep more food supplies than average.
  • Test the electric generator before you need it.
  • Look for extra batteries and a working radio.
  • First aid and medical supplies should be kept on hand.

10 thoughts on “Category 4 Darby Coming | Hawaii Visitor Hurricane Preparedness”

  1. Who is Panicking ? It always turns Tropical Before It Hits Our Shores ! Who’s Panicking?

    1. Hi Mauna.

      Have you been to the grocery store? We just did in Honolulu today and the water, tp and paper towels we’re pretty much gone.


  2. It’s not only hurricanes. In 2006 there was extremely heavy rain for several days which flooded some roads. Eventually, the defective Ka Loko dam collapsed, killing several people and creating horrible damage to the island and the ocean immediately surrounding that area. The Princeville airport was closed, as was the road from there. On the nightly news, there were tourists screaming at the airport about how they had to catch their flights, but it was no go.
    It’s not likely that there will be another dam breach, but there can be flooding on the islands, particularly on the road to Hanalei. The reminder to take extra medication is a good one, as is the suggestion to buy travel insurance.

    Thank you, BOH, for all your helpful articles.

    1. Hi Nancy.

      Thank you. That rain went on for 40 days straight. It was unbelievable.


  3. Putting together the Emergency Preparations List and publishing it is a Necessity for Everyone, Thank You! It’s easy to forget about the potential needs until it’s too late, life is too precious to leave to chance. Travelers also need to prepare. Beach Erosion and Objects washing ashore can be dangerous, rip currents can, and do, kill. As with Any Emergency stay informed and beware of ever changing conditions. Don’t Risk your life or that of Emergency Personnel! Thank You BOH.

    1. Hi Ernie.

      Thanks. We appreciate your additions to the list, which we’ll update.


  4. Dear BOH,
    Remembering Iniki – our dear friends were parked up on the hillside over looking Poipu and saw their home washed away… saw their oriental rugs tossed into, what was then the cane fields across the road. It was the second time the house had been destroyed due to hurricane.. very hard time for Kauai .. Your advice was spot on..

    1. Hi Cheryl.

      Thanks for adding to the conversation. We both have many memories of that day 30 years ago on South Shore Kauai and what followed.


  5. You can try to scare me off but I still hope to live part of my life in Hawaii!! I remember Iniki, as we visited Kauai shortly before and after. Still and always beautiful! Mahalo for your tips on preparedness.


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