Live updates covering the latest information on Iselle and Julio, from HuffPost editors in Hawaii and New York.
08/10/2014 2:02 AM EDT
Hurricane Julio Downgrades To Category 1
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.
08/09/2014 10:59 PM EDT
High Surf Warning Issued As Hurricane Julio Approaches To The North
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.
08/09/2014 2:01 AM EDT
Kauai Not Out Of The Woods Yet
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.
08/09/2014 1:52 AM EDT
Hawaii's Biggest Airlines Will Return To Normal Programming
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.
08/09/2014 1:46 AM EDT
Mayor Kirk Caldwell Gives Oahu The All-Clear
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.
08/09/2014 1:39 AM EDT
Map Shows Range Of Damages On Hawaii Island
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.
08/09/2014 1:07 AM EDT
It Could Have Been Way Worse
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.
08/09/2014 12:40 AM EDT
Gov. Neil Abercrombie: 'Aloha Spirit Carries Hawaii Through'
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.
08/08/2014 10:52 PM EDT
Hawaii Staff's Afternoon Views On Oahu As Iselle Passes
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.
08/08/2014 9:43 PM EDT
Tropical Storm Warnings Cancelled For Maui County And Oahu
On Friday, 3 p.m. HST, tropical storm warnings were cancelled for Maui county and Oahu.
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.