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.