Looks like the Big Island of Hawaii dodged a bullet (at least for now)!
The National Weather Service dropped a hurricane warning for Hawaii island as Hurricane Madeline continued to weaken as it moved to within 95 miles southeast of Hilo, with winds of 75 mph, just barely above category 1 hurricane strength of 74 mph.
However, Tropical Storm warnings remain in effect for Hawaii and Maui counties.
“Under a Tropical Storm Warning, people on the Big Island can still expect damaging winds, very large and dangerous surf, and the continued threat of flash flooding,” forecasters told the Honolulu Star Advertiser.
Here’s the latest information about Hurricane Madeline, according to the Honolulu Star Advertiser:
- The storm, about 305 miles southeast of Honolulu, is moving west at 12 mph and was expected to become a tropical storm Wednesday afternoon.
- Hurricane-force winds extend 10 miles from the center and tropical storm-force winds extend 125 miles from the center.
- Tropical storm-force winds of 43 mph, gusting to 51 mph were recorded at Kamuela Airport this morning.
- Heavy rains, winds and surf ahead of the center began arriving on Hawaii island this morning.
- The center of the storm is expected to pass close to South Point Wednesday night.
Although Hurricane Madeline is weakening, it’s still important you take all necessary precautions. That’s because Hawaii island and Maui County are expected to take brunt of the storm Wednesday night and Thursday. In fact, the Honolulu Star Advertiser reports that satellite images showed stormy conditions in the northeast corner of Madeline, so the rains and strong winds on Hawaii island and Maui County are likely to continue into Thursday, after the center of the storm passes the island.
Here are the latest watches and warnings, according to the Honolulu Star Advertiser:
- The National Weather Service put Maui county under a tropical storm warning Wednesday morning. The warnings mean hurricane or tropical storm conditions are possible within 36 hours.
- A flash flood watch is posted for Hawaii island.
- A high surf warning is also in place for east shores of Maui, where surf could peak at 12 to 18 feet today. The surf is starting to arrive on east shores of Hawaii island.
- Oahu, Kauai and Molokai’s east shores are under a high surf advisory as waves generated by Madeline’s winds come ashore.
So, what does all this mean, in terms of rainfall? Forecasters tell the paper that Hawaii island could get 5 to 10 inches of rain from Madeline with isolated areas, especially in windward sections, getting up to 15 inches. Maui could see 1 to 3 inches, with some areas getting up to 5 inches. Thunderstorms are possible.
“This rainfall may lead to dangerous flash floods and mudslides,” forecasters tell the paper.
But, now that Hurricane Madeline has weakened and seems to be heading south, Hawaii residents and visitors are turning their eyes toward Hurricane Lester, which has strengthened into a powerful Category 4 hurricane. About 1,085 miles East of Hilo, Lester maintained its major hurricane status with sustained winds of 130 mph, moving west at 12 mph at 5 a.m.
Lester is expected to take a turn to the northwest and pass near Hawaii this weekend, potentially bringing more muggy weather, big waves, strong winds and rains Friday through Sunday.
We’ll keep you posted with continuous updates about the hurricanes. So, make sure you stay tuned to your Hawaii Aloha Travel blog for the latest. And, make sure you stay in touch with your tour professional if you have any Big Island activities planned over Labor Day weekend!