We will keep you updated on what the situation is on Kauai as Hurricane Douglas heads towards the islands and will undoubtedly have an impact here. When the storm tracks nearer, the Big Island will see this east to west moving hurricane first. NOAA expects this to occur on Sunday, with intermittent and intensified strong rain and wind impacting portions of the Hawaiian Islands.
It doesn’t get much more surreal than this.
We are in the midst of a pandemic, our state is in a virtual shutdown with no clear signs of an end in sight, and now this.
We are certain that, as of today, people will be buying out stores and lines for everything will be longer than we have seen. People go nuts, and now, probably more than ever. Then stores may be empty before the storm because there is nothing more to buy.
When the storm approaches the Big Island followed by the other islands, it is expected to be downgraded to a tropical storm. We of course continue to keep eyes peeled on each update from NOAA. The news there has been relatively reassuring. Being a large storm, however, the impact can be great in any event. Our primary focus is on the safety of Hawaii’s residents. Visitors are largely out of harm’s way given the fact there is no tourism at the moment. Normally, there would be nearly 300,000 of you here right now.
Some flights in Hawaii are likely to be canceled. Airlines may also waive fees for this period. If you’re traveling to or within Hawaii through early next week, you will want to inquire with your airline.
Where We Follow Hawaii Hurricane News.
Following the traditional news media in regards to potential hurricanes is something we simply avoid. There is way too much economic incentive in their reporting of weather threats among other things.
Instead, we monitor Hawaii hurricanes using the Pacific Hurricane Center and focus on the “forecast discussion.” For us, this tends to give the best technical analysis, that is updated multiple times daily. From there we also look at the wind speed possibilities among other things. You’ll also find more frequent updates for each island using the normal NOAA weather website.
What is the Hawaii Hurricane Season?
The official season began in Hawaii on June 1 and runs through December 15. It’s been almost 30 years (1992) since Hurricane Iniki (image above) ravaged the islands and Kauai in particular. This subject, though, is never far from the minds of those of us who live in the islands. Should there be any potential danger, the following is a check-list of ways to prepare.
For 2020, NOAA is saying that the “Eastern Pacific Hurricane Season Outlook indicates a near- or below-normal season most likely (75% combined chance). There is a 40% chance of a near-normal season and a 35% chance of a below-normal season, followed by a 25% chance of an above-normal season.”
Check-List for Hawaii Visitors (even though you may not be here for this particular storm)
- Pack a basic first-aid kit.
- Don’t forget essential medications should something unforeseen occur (that’s always a good idea).
- Have water and non-perishable food on hand during your trip. Should a hurricane possibility be announced, expect store shelves to be empty.
- Access to a portable radio in some form.
- Remember that if a hurricane seems likely, airlines may allow you to reschedule your trip.
- Travel insurance is something to consider because it can protect you in terms of tickets and other non-refundable deposits/payments. Especially if you’ll be visiting during the peak hurricane months of August through November, we suggest you consider and price trip insurance. Because hurricanes are natural disasters, insurance must be bought before the development of a specific storm.
Check-List for Hawaii Residents
It’s helpful for us to write this, since it’s probably more important to us than it is for you. In any case, we’re updating our annual to-do list, and it includes:
- Gas tank filled at no less than half. Also fill propane tanks.
- Plastic tarps set aside in case of emergency.
- Keep some trash cans pristine and unused should additional drinking water storage be needed.
- Stockpile additional food supplies.
- Check that generator is still working properly.
- Extra batteries on hand and a radio that works in the event of no cellular service.
- First aid/medical supplies replenished.
- Cash – time to go to the bank and get some. Assuming ATM’s will always work isn’t a safe bet.
Photo from NOAA.