Live updates covering the latest information on Iselle and Julio, from HuffPost editors in Hawaii and New York.
Hawaii misses second major storm as Hurricane Julio weakens and passes north of the islands, according to Weather.com.
The most noticeable effects of Julio in Hawaii will be high surf on the east facing shores of Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Maui and the Big Island; on Monday morning, the National Weather Service has issued a High Surf Advisory for those locations.
Julio has been downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane on Saturday evening, according to the report from the Associated Press below. At 5 p.m. HST, the National Weather Service in Honolulu said Julio was weakening as it traveled east northeast of Hawaii's Big Island.
From Associated Press:
The National Weather Service has downgraded Hurricane Julio to Category 1, the least powerful level.
Sam Houston, a forecaster with the weather service, says Julio's winds have weakened to about 92 mph or 80 knots.
The hurricane is about 355 miles northeast of Hilo and 510 miles east of Honolulu. Julio is expected come closest to Hawaii early Sunday and linger near the state into Monday.
— NWSHonolulu (@NWSHonolulu) August 10, 2014
A large swell generated from Hurricane Julio near Hawaii has prompted the National Weather Service to issue a high surf warning for Oahu, Kauai, Molokai, Maui, and the Big Island. Surf is expected to rise 15 feet because of the storm.
Julio, still blowing 100 mph winds, is expected to pass by 250 miles north of Maui, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports.
As the remnants of Tropical Storm Iselle approach Hawaii's westernmost islands, the National Weather Service has issued a flood advisory for Kauai County until 10:45 p.m.
Hawaii's three largest airlines -- Hawaiian Airlines, Island Air and Mokulele Airlines -- either delayed or cancelled some flights, but Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports that beginning Saturday they will resume normal operations. Other carriers are expected to resume as well.
Read the rest of the Star-Advertiser report here.
Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports that Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell gave the all-clear for Oahu after tropical storm warnings were lifted.
"Scheduled refuse collection will resume tomorrow, Caldwell said. City employees return to work Monday, but city parks will open this weekend, he said. HandiVan service will resume today and the Honolulu Zoo and Hanauma Bay will open tomorrow."
Read the rest of the Star-Advertiser report here.
The Pacific Disaster Center posted this map showing reported damages from Hurricane Iselle including several landslides, a washed-out bridge, trees in roadways, structural damages, and road closures. No estimate has been made yet on the cost of these and other damages.
— DisasterAWARE (@disasteraware) August 9, 2014
Sophie Cocke of the Honolulu Civil Beat paints a grim picture in the event Iselle was a direct hit on Oahu.
"There would likely be mass casualties," she writes, "and the island has 'limited capability, resources, and storage facilities to store and process human remains, which will include all unearthed corpses at cemeteries,' according to the plan."
Surprisingly, the statewide emergency plan only considers Oahu, not the four other counties in the state: Hawaii, Kalawao, Maui and Kauai Counties.
Meanwhile, Hurricane Julio, still a Category 2 storm, continues to move in from the west.
Read the rest of Sophie Cocke's report here.
Gov. Abercrombie released a statement commending the efforts of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, mayors and the counties and federal partners such as the National Weather Service and FEMA, as well as the hospitality industry.
"At the beginning of this emergency, I said that the spirit of aloha is something we need to carry through the night, and the people of Hawaii answered that call . . . Although some areas across our state have been impacted by the severe weather, our unified collaboration has served to protect the lives and well-being of our neighbors and guests," he said.
At around 2 p.m. HST on Friday, our HuffPost Hawaii editors took a photo of their views across the island of Oahu, featured below. Oahu's North Shore and windward side experienced the most rain fall and wind, while weather in other parts of the island remained fairly calm.
Tropical storm warnings have been cancelled for the islands of Hawaii, Oahu, Maui, Molokai, Lanai and Kahoolawe, but are still in effect for the islands of Kauai and Niihau. Flash food watch remains in effect for all the islands across the state and high surf advisories are in effect for east facing shores of Oahu, Molokai, Maui and the Big Island.
On Friday, 3 p.m. HST, tropical storm warnings were cancelled for Maui county and Oahu.
— NWSHonolulu (@NWSHonolulu) August 9, 2014
As of 2:20 p.m. HST on Friday, the tropical storm warning for Hawaii's Big Island has been cancelled as Iselle weakens and travels south of the other islands.
Tropical storm warning continues for the islands of Maui, Oahu and Kauai.
"Iselle is currently 120 miles southwest of Honolulu and is still producing locally damaging wind gusts over the smaller islands."
While Hawaii Island bore most of Iselle's brunt last night and early this morning, little impact was felt on the Leeward side of Oahu, other than gusty breezes and scattered showers.
A cloudy day over Diamond Head, Manoa Valley, Moiliili, and Kaimuki at a time when Tropical Storm Iselle was predicted to drop heavy rain and dangerous winds over Oahu.
Light rain fell on and off for about two hours in Honolulu, while other parts of Oahu had much more significant rainfall.
Crews had to remove a few trees that fell over scenic Tantalus Road in Honolulu Friday after Tropical Storm Iselle brought gusty winds and showers.
The bed of a tree removal service was relatively empty. Compared to the many trees that fell across Maui and Hawaii Islands, not much had fallen onto streets in Honolulu on Oahu.
A U.S. Postal Service worker waits in the sun as a fallen tree is cleared from Tantalus Road after Tropical Storm Iselle in Honolulu, HI.
A Honolulu Police Officer and USPS worker wait for Tantalus Road to reopen. It was closed for a few hours while crews worked to clear a trees that had fallen across the street.
A worker cuts a tree down that hung over Tantalus Road on Oahu.
A crew worker starts his chainsaw to cut out a tree that had fallen as a result of Tropical Storm Iselle's winds on Friday.
What was once predicted to be much worse aloha Friday for downtown Honolulu was nothing more than a cloudy day with scattered showers.
The view from Kailua, Oahu, Hawaii during Tropical Storm Iselle.
It was sunny in downtown Honolulu as Tropical Storm Iselle passed Oahu.
Oahu's North Shore and windward side felt most of the rainfall from Iselle on Friday.
A fallen palm tree near Diamond Head on Oahu after winds generated by tropical storm Iselle impacted Hawaii.
Big Island saw the worst of tropical storm Iselle's damage and makes little impact on other islands.
Hurricane Iselle had been downgraded to a moderate tropical storm by the time it swept across the Big Island early Friday morning, but it still brought strong winds, high surf and heavy rains — as much as 15 inches in certain parts of the state’s easternmost island.
Read the rest of Alia Wong's Civil Beat report here.
First satellite image of Iselle as it traveled through the Big Island at sunrise:
— The Weather Channel (@weatherchannel) August 8, 2014
A report from Honolulu Civil Beat's live blog noted that Maui was lightly impacted by the storm while thousands on Big Island have no power due to downed power lines throughout the island and, now, rolling blackouts.
From Civil Beat's Sophie Cocke:
11:44 a.m.: Reports from Maui are that Iselle has caused little drama. Planes were still taking off from Maui airport. In Kihei, on the south side of the island, it was raining lightly with no wind. Upcountry Maui got heavier weather, but still, resident, Katie McMillan, had this to say: "Well, overall it was a pretty uneventful night. Just some wind and power outages. Feeling very lucky right about now."
11:55 a.m.: There are downed power lines throughout the Big Island and thousands lost power overnight as Iselle brought heavy rains and wind. Adding to the electricity troubles, HELCO will begin rolling blackouts on the island because of a generation shortfall, according to Mayor Billy Kenoi: "HELCO will attempt to limit the power interruptions to no more than one hour in each location, however the durations of the rolling blackouts may vary. HELCO asks that residents island wide conserve power as much as possible until further notice."
Follow Civil Beat's updates here.
MAUIWatch's Malika Dudley took photos of downed trees throughout Makena on Maui:
You can see Tropical Storm Iselle south of the islands as Hurricane Julio churns to the east:
Animation by Cameron Beccario
— NBC News (@NBCNews) August 8, 2014
Concern about whether or not severe weather will prevent tomorrow's primary elections from happening are quelled -- Attorney General David Louie said polls will open at 7 a.m. tomorrow: "We're running the elections, business as usual."
Some parts of Hawaii Island got 15 inches of rain as a result of Hurricane Iselle, Mike Cantin of the National Weather Service said. Trees are down across much of the state and strong winds continue the danger for more to fall. Surf is still dangerously high in areas. While it isn't raining hard in downtown Honolulu or Waikiki, "the threat continues," Cantin said.
While Tropical Storm Iselle continues southward, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell updated local reporter Keoki Kerr that Julio continues to track north of the islands. "That cone of uncertainty", he said, "is outside of the range of Oahu. Let's hope it continues that way."
In a statement, Gov. Abercrombie said the reason Iselle looks "so benign is that it hit the Big Island first." Mauna Kea and Moana Loa are "formidable opponents. . . This is not Kansas, this is not Florida." Added, "We will not be able to give the all-clear until later this evening."
— Neil Abercrombie (@neilabercrombie) August 8, 2014
The Associated Press is reporting that Hurricane Julio is now a Category 2 storm, and is predicted to miss the Hawaiian Islands by about 200 miles.
The Pacific Disaster Center, based on Maui, is monitoring the systems as they move across Hawaii and the Pacific. There are no hurricane warnings in effect for Hawaii counties, but a tropical storm warning is in effect or the Big Island, Niihau, Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Kahoolawe, and Maui.
Oahu's windward side and north shore began to receive intermittent heavy rain and moderate winds around 7:30 a.m. HST on Friday.
The island of Oahu is under a Flood Advisory issued by the National Weather Service until 10:30 a.m. HST, according to multiple reports.
"At 7:24 am," Hawaii News Now reported, "rain gages at Punaluu showed heavy rain falling at 2 inches per hour, near Kaaawa, or about 15 miles north of Honolulu."
Around the same time Friday morning, bouts of heavy rain and moderate winds could be felt on Oahu's north shore, about nine miles away from the windward side of the island.
- Carla Herreria
Maui was spared strong winds but felt heavy rains, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. A flood advisory ended after 5 a.m., but the National Weather Service said flooding conditions are still possible. About 3,000 customers lost electricity there, reports Maui Now.
NASA's "high definition viewing experiment" flew over Iselle as it was a weakening hurricane (now a tropical storm) and Hurricane Julio.
There are "no coastal watches or warnings in effect" for Hurricane Julio, according to a National Weather Service advisory issued at 5:00 a.m. HST (11:00 a.m. EDT).
The latest NWS forecast map shows Julio moving north and west of the Hawaiian islands over the next 3 days.
Monitor the storm as it affects the Big Island's Kohala Coast via Hilton Waikoloa Village's Lagoon Tower Cam.
Hawaii's State Department of Education will close all public and public charter schools and DOE offices across the state on Friday. “We will continue to monitor both storms and will make another announcement regarding whether school will be in session on Monday," Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi said in a statement.
Larry Ellison's Island Air has cancelled interisland flights from Honolulu to Maui and Lanai beginning on Thursday and will suspend all flights on Friday. Flights to Kauai will continue until the last flight departs at 7:34 p.m. tonight, however Hawaii Public Radio's Molly Solomon tweeted that all airports currently remain open. (We are following #HIWX for updates.)
Hawaii's primary election, which is to take place on Saturday in the time span between Iselle and Julio, will continue as planned, Attorney General David Louie said in an update from the Governor's office.
UPDATE, Aug. 7, 8:57 a.m. HST: Hurricane Julio strengthened overnight, is now a Category 2 storm and is expected to strengthen further before gradually weakening by Thursday night. Julio, 1,230 miles southeast of Hilo, is currently forecast to affect Hawaiian Islands as early as Sunday morning.
Iselle, still a Category 1 storm, is about 245 miles southeast of Hilo, moving at 17 mph. It measures 80-mph winds with stronger gusts. Radar imaging shows Iselle's outer bands are near the coast.
Waimea on Hawaii Island experienced a 4.5 magnitude earthquake this morning. At 6:24 a.m. Thursday, the quake shook the island, its epicenter located about 7 miles out from the northern tip of the Big Island. So far, there are no reports of damage, and Hawaii County Civil Defense Director Darryl Oliveira said moderate quakes are "not uncommon."
UPDATE, Aug. 6, 5:17 p.m. HST: Oahu is now under a tropical storm warning, as issued by the National Weather Service. Kauai County is now under a tropical storm watch. A hurricane warning continues for Hawaii Island.
UPDATE, Aug. 6, 3:20 p.m. HST: Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie signed an emergency proclamation before Hurricanes Iselle and Julio make landfall. It includes all islands in the state, activates the Major Disaster Fund for disaster relief, and allows access to emergency resources at state and federal levels. According to the proclamation, the emergency relief period will last through August 15.
Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa declared a state of emergency for the county, which includes Lanai, Molokai, Maui, Kahoolawe and Molokini, effective 11:10 a.m. this morning and extending until September 5, if needed. Maui Bus will suspend services on Thursday and Friday, acting as a shuttle service to evacuation shelters.
On Oahu, Honolulu will shut down TheBus and Handi-Van services at the end of the day on Thursday. However, at 10 p.m. that night, TheBus will act as a shuttle service to provide free rides to hurricane shelters.
The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency released a list of evacuation shelters, opening at 10 p.m. on Thursday, most of which are at schools and are pet friendly. The agency emphasizes that shelters should be used as a last resort if you have no where else to go.
Hawaii State Civil Defense shared this brochure on preparedness, including emergency kit suggestions, web resources, and a planning checklist.
Island Air will join Hawaiian Airlines in waiving reservation change fees and fare differences for customers who need to change travel plans as a result of Iselle and Julio.
UPDATE, Aug. 6, 12:30 p.m. HST: The Honolulu Star-Advertiser is reporting that Hurricane Iselle has strengthened, against previous forecasts, which now anticipate Iselle to retain hurricane force winds as it makes landfall on Hawaii Island tomorrow.
Hawaii Island is under a hurricane warning, Maui County is under a tropical storm warning, while Oahu remains under a tropical storm watch.
Iselle is measuring 95 mph winds, up from 85 mph at 5 a.m. Below, an updated forecast map:
UPDATE, Aug. 6, 7:30 a.m. HST: Hurricane Julio was upgraded from a tropical storm at 11 p.m. Tuesday and, according to KHON2, was located 1,774 miles away from Hilo and moving 15 mph with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph.
Meanwhile, Hurricane Iselle has been downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane as the storm continues along a path to Hawaii Island and is scheduled to make landfall there tomorrow. As of 7:00 a.m. HST on Wednesday, Iselle was about 695 miles east-southeast of Hilo, moving west-northwest at 15 mph.
A tropical storm watch is in effect for Oahu, Maui County (which includes Maui, Lanai and Molokai), and Hawaii Island.
Hawaii is about to experience two very rare, back-to-back storms.
The National Weather Service Central Pacific Hurricane Center (NWSCPH) is monitoring two large storms as they approach the Hawaiian islands. Hurricane Iselle is expected to reach Hawaii Island on Thursday afternoon and continue along the island chain through the weekend, and tropical storm Julio is expected to follow along the same path two or three days behind.
It's being called an extremely rare and unprecedented event. The Weather Channel’s lead meteorologist Kevin Roth wrote that “In 75 years of reliable data you only have one case where [tropical storms] were even 10 days apart,” referring to a time in 1982 when two weaker tropical storms and depressions hit Hawaii.
Iselle is classified as a category 2 hurricane right now but is expected to weaken into a tropical storm due to cooler waters and increased wind shear around the islands.
Below, everything we know about these rare tropical storms.
Where are they headed?
Iselle is currently a little less than 970 miles away from main Hawaiian islands, moving westward in the tradewind flow towards Hawaii at 13 mph. Iselle’s center is expected to cross Hawaii's Big Island Thursday night and continue on a trajectory south of (but still affecting) the other main islands, including Oahu, Maui, Molokai and Kauai.
How strong are they and what will happen?
Iselle is predicted to remain a hurricane through Wednesday before weakening into a tropical storm, which could have wind speeds between 39 and 73 mph. Iselle is also predicted to have winds in the 45-55 mph range, with gusts as strong as 65 mph or more, especially on mountain ridges.
Hawaii's Big Island, where the storms are expected to hit first, was under a tropical storm watch beginning Tuesday evening, which means “tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area within 48 hours.” Because of the warmer water outside the Big Island, Iselle’s speed, which was at 13 mph on Tuesday and is expected to increase, is too fast for the warmth to strengthen Iselle back into a hurricane, Lau said in a press conference.
A flash flood watch is issued for all islands starting at 4 a.m., Thursday, through 6 a.m., Friday. Otherwise, there are no other watches or warnings related to Iselle, but that could change suddenly and with little notice.
Main threats include heavy rains with area flash flooding and coastal inundations through Friday, with tropical storm-force winds: 45 to 55 mph and gusts of up to 65 mph.
— The Weather Channel (@weatherchannel) August 5, 2014
What are Hawaii residents doing now?
As of 11 a.m. Tuesday, NWSCPH, which is based in Honolulu, has taken over forecast responsibility for Iselle and Julio from the National Hurricane Center in Miami.
Drivers are beginning to line up at area gas stations, as well as hit stores such as Costco and Wal-Mart for comestibles and toiletries. Things they’re buying include Spam, toilet paper, bottled water, baby supplies, and rice.
Hawaiian Airlines will waive reservation change fees and differences in fares for any customer changing travel plans on August 7 or 8 due to Iselle and Julio, effective immediately. The change must be done by Hawaiian Airlines personnel prior to the departure time of your original flight. There’s some fine print, so click here for more information.
— khon2 News (@KHONnews) August 5, 2014
We will update this story as the storms develop.