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Thursday, August 7, 2014

HURRICANES ISELLE AND JULIO ARE HERE

Watch the National Service Enhanced Radar Image Loop by clicking on it. At this writing, here they are--first graphic is from the Star-Advertiser:  (I WILL KEEP UPDATING AS ANYTHING IMPORTANT DEVELOPS, SO RETURN FOR THE LATEST!):



Iselle:
  • now at 80 MPH, with gusts at 100 MPH
  • will still be a hurricane at 75 MPH when the eye makes landfall tonight on the Big Island
  • first hurricane to make landfall on any island in Hawaii since Iniki in 1992
    • struck Kauai On September 11 as a Category 4, 145 MPH with at least one gust actually measured at 227 MPH
    • a very unusual storm, as it formed off Africa, passed across the Atlantic into the Gulf and over Central America, then across the Pacific
    • was active from 18August1992 to 13September1992
  • Can Iselle suddenly turn north and pass across Honolulu?  Iniki did, over Kauai, but meteorologically, conditions differ.  
    • The odds are thus very low.
    • However, SUPER TYPHOON Genevieve at 160 MPH is at this writing just west of Hawaii, and did make that sudden right turn:
  • If conditions prevail as expected, Hilo, being in the northwest quadrant, will experience severe wind conditions
    • If Iselle makes landfall at 75 MPH, gusts will be up to 95, but the speed of the storm, currently at 17 MPH, needs to be added, making potential wind gusts up to 112 MPH.
    • Wind power increases with the cube of the velocity, so that 112 MPH speed will have 3.3 times the power of a 75 MPH condition.  Comparing 75 MPH with that 227 MPH gust of Iniki means that Kauai experienced up to 28 times the wind power of a normal hurricane.  WATCH OUT FOR GUSTS BREAKING YOUR HOME WINDOW!  Or, better yet, don't watch.  Keep away from glass at all times.
  • The eye is expected to pass between Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea, both 13,000 ft+ high volcanoes.  The odds are fair to good that these mountains will enfeeble Iselle.
I have never heard of two hurricanes striking the same location in the same weekend.  It was exactly five years ago that Felicia (Category 4) and Enrique (to the right) were heading for the Big Island, and there was actually the possibility of the two combining into one.  However, wind shear almost totally destroyed them as they approached Hawaii.  This time, NO upper level wind shearing conditions exist.  Thus, Julio might be unprecedented:
  • currently at 105 MPH, but should weaken as he approaches Hawaii (see details in those graphics above)
  • looks to move slightly north, with the eye not expected to touch land
  • however, the cone of potentiality includes all the islands
  • a real danger is that, if Iselle dumps a foot of rain anywhere, and Julio does the same, flooding conditions could be catastrophic
Hawaii tourism is at peak, and up to a quarter million visitors are now here.  Many of those hotels are right on the beach.  Waikiki will be home to nearly 100,000 tourists.  Flights into local airports have already been cancelled.  Airlines don't want any of their planes at the airport when the worst happens.  For any of you expecting out of state guests, good luck over the weekend.  For those scheduled to fly home, planes will come and go as safe, so keep in touch with your airline.  And this is so cruel, but I stayed at the Waikiki Sheraton last weekend, and this was the view from my room.  (By the way, it is bright and sunny in Honolulu today, with no visible clouds in the sky from where I sit composing this sentence.)


Oh, I also had lunch today to watch the incoming hurricanes:


Yes, I know Iselle is 24 hours away, so, anyway, assorted sashimi, oyako domburi, Asahi beer and hot sake in that orange cup.  Still, no clouds.

In the West Pacific, Typhoon Halong at 85 MPH continues to approach Japan:



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