Tracking Hurricane Douglas in Honolulu: Sunday, July 26, 2020

Pablo Tucker
July 31, 2020

Hurricane Douglas bore down on Hawaii on Sunday packing torrential rains and damaging winds as it churned just east of the islands in the central Pacific, forecasters said, with one local leader urging residents to be prepared for the worst.

The center of Hurricane Douglas, which Ballard called a "pretty nasty hurricane", appeared to have passed within 45 miles to the north of Hana, Maui.

A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area, in this case within the next 18 hours.

By Sunday afternoon, Hurricane Douglas is forecast to pass about 30 miles north of the island of Maui and have sustained winds of 90 mph. Due to the steep terrain of the islands, hurricane-force wind gusts are possible even within the tropical storm warning area.

Hurricane Hunters from the Air Force 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron spent most of the night with Douglas, making 5 passes through the center.

"We remain uncomfortably close to a unsafe hurricane here in the state of Hawaii", Robert Ballard, the science and operations officer at the Central Pacific Hurricane Center, said during a teleconference.

The estimated minimum central pressure is 29.03 inches. Although forecasters downgraded the severity of the alert for the Big Island and Maui to a tropical storm warning and a hurricane watch, Brenchley noted that with Douglas moving west-northwest, 340 miles east of Hilo, the Big Island will begin to feel the storm tonight, Maui County by early Sunday and O'ahu could begin to feel the impact of the storm by tomorrow midday. "These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions for a couple of days", the NHC says.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Hawai'i County. While the CPHC isn't issuing Storm Surge advisories, they warn that a storm surge of 2-4 feet could be possible in areas as very tall, violent surf smashes the coastline of the islands.

RAINFALL: Heavy rainfall associated with Douglas is expected to affect portions of the main Hawaiian Islands from early this morning into Monday.

"Conditions will continue to worsen across parts of the Big Island and Maui in the next few hours as Hurricane Douglas near these islands", reported the National Weather Service in Honolulu this morning. This rain may result in flash flooding and land slides, as well as rapid water level rises on small streams. While the exact track of Hurricane Douglas will determine where these types of winds can exist, the greatest threats now are near Lahaina on Maui and Waikoloa on Hawaii. Meanwhile, 75-150 mm of rainfall is possible on the Big Island, with locally higher amounts.

Hurricane Douglas did not weaken as expected.

As the storm moved west across the island chain from Maui, gentle rain fell and blustery winds swayed trees on Oahu.

"We know that it is weakening as it approaches, but it still will have significant impact on each island", Hawaii governor David Ige said.

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