Latest on the hurricane double threat to Hawaii

Iselle_eye

Iselle is the first threat, click to enlarge

The current forecast storm track from CPHC shows Iselle being a Cat 1 storm when in makes landfall on the big Island. The city of Hilo will bear the brunt of the storm. Julio follows, but is expected to go north.

Timeline from NASA:

In early August 2014, not one but two hurricanes were headed for the Hawaiian Islands. Storms arriving from the east are a relative rarity, and landfalling storms are also pretty infrequent.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this natural-color image of Hurricane Iselle over the Pacific Ocean at 10:40 a.m. Hawaiian time (1940 Universal Time) on August 4, 2014. Shortly after the image was acquired, the U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center reported that Iselle was a category 4 hurricane with sustained winds at 120 knots (140 miles or 220 kilometers per hour) and centered at 16.10° north latitude, 137.40° west longitude.

The MODIS image shows a nearly cloud-free eye in the center of a symmetrical storm; there is solid ring of clouds around the center rather than intermittent, spiral bands. Iselle was at its peak intensity at the time and it was likely an annular hurricane. Atmospheric researchers also detected signs of mesovortices near the eyewall. The smaller, tighter rotating structures within the larger storm are often associated with tornadoes on land.

Forecasters from the Central Pacific Hurricane Center predicted on August 6 that Iselle would make landfall on the island of Hawaii as a strong tropical storm or a category 1 hurricane late on August 7. Wind damage and heavy surf are likely, but heavy rainfall, flash floods, and landslides were the greatest concern as Iselle approached.

On August 5, the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) sensor on Suomi-NPP captured natural-color images of both Iselle and Hurricane Julio en route to Hawaii. The image below is a composite of three satellite passes over the tropical Pacific Ocean in the early afternoon. Note that Iselle’s eyewall had grown less distinct; the storm had descreased to category 2 intensity. The bright shading toward the center-left of the image is sunglint, the reflection of sunlight off the water and directly back at the satellite sensor.

acquired August 5, 2014 download large image (4 MB, JPEG, 5250×3500)

On the same day, Terra MODIS also imaged Iselle and Julio, as well as Hurricane Genevieve (southwest of Hawaii); click here to view that mosaic. The black shapes across the MODIS image are gaps in the satellite’s view. Terra flies in a lower orbit than Suomi-NPP, so its images are narrower and have gaps near the equator, but they can be more detailed.

You can also see a video below of the three storms in motion from August 2–4, as observed by the GOES-West weather satellite.

As of midday on August 6, Hurricane Julio was a category 1 storm, but it is expected to weaken to tropical storm force in the coming days. Forecasts suggest that the eye will pass north of the Hawaiian Islands on August 10, but it is possible that there will be some effects on land.

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46 thoughts on “Latest on the hurricane double threat to Hawaii

  1. How unusual is it for these east to west storms to occurs? Must have something to do with AGW don’t you think……..waiting for conformation from the usual sources.

  2. From my August 7, 2014 at 7:33 am link:

    In the Atlantic, hurricane season officially runs June 1 to November 30. However, while 97 percent of tropical activity occurs during this time period, there is nothing magical in these dates, and hurricanes have occurred outside of these six months.

  3. When Iselle runs into those two 13,000 foot mountains that make up most of the Big Island I imagine that storm will be pretty much shredded.

  4. hurricane iselle is incredibly small at the moment; the entire heavy convection area is only about 40 nmiles wide

  5. Presumably these storms (and the five near the equator) are sucking heat out of the Pacific and portending a somewhat lower global temperature for August–right?

  6. Here’s something many people on the mainland don’t (want to) know: about 3/4ths of the big island are served by cesspools.

    Hopefully these storms won’t be big rain makers.

  7. Julio might be a hurricane now, but it is expected to be down graded before it get close to the islands. More importantly, it looks more like it will be to the north side rather than a direct hit.

  8. Really strong hurricanes very rarely reach Hawaii – the seawater around the islands is not warm enough to sustain a hurricane so the storms normally weaken a lot before reaching the islands. In the same way the Galapagos islands are essentially immune to hurricanes despite being right on the Equator because the waters around the archipelago are too cold.

  9. latecommer2014 says:
    August 7, 2014 at 7:11 am

    How unusual is it for these east to west storms to occurs? Must have something to do with AGW don’t you think……..waiting for conformation from the usual sources.
    —————————————————————————————————————————-
    It is not uncommon in the Pacific to see a series of tropical cyclones line up like this. Usually you have the enhanced phase of the MJO over the basin and it is such a wide ocean basin you can fit a number of cyclones in it without them interfering with each other. Still, it won’t be long before the press start pushing the CAGW “This is unprecedented!!!” button.

  10. ossqss says: August 7, 2014 at 8:21 am
    >The usual CAGW whiners are drooling over this paper.

    Excerpts from the paper:
    Projections of the potential…
    multiple sources of uncertainty…
    different assumptions…
    projecting climate change…
    signals of future changes…
    different model physical schemes and different future patterns…
    future warming experiments…
    state-of-the-art high-resolution global climate model…
    robustly predicts…
    physically based empirical model…
    increase in the likelihood…
    significant and robust…
    possible future increases…

    This is all from the first paragraph! Seriously, if anyone came to you looking for project approval with even a few of these lines, they would be laughed out of the building. This is a great source of humor.

  11. scot says: August 7, 2014 at 7:48 am
    Here’s something many people on the mainland don’t (want to) know: about 3/4ths of the big island are served by cesspools. Hopefully these storms won’t be big rain makers.

    ————————–
    Hawaii (big Island)
    total population: 185,079 (as of 2010)
    annual rainfall (Hilo): 126.72 inches (3,218.7 mm)

    I venture to guess cesspools are not going to be that catastrophic an issue. Where do you think all city sewage plants dump excess water from rain in the rest of the world ? zoop -> into the ocean, river, lake, no ?

  12. Hilo climatology, “Within the city of Hilo, average rainfall varies from about 130 inches a year near the shore to as much as 200 inches upslope. The wettest part of the island, with a mean annual rainfall exceeding 300 inches, lies about 6 miles upslope from the city limits.”

    Iselle will be summer rain shower with a little wind for residents on the east side of the island. The wind could be more of a factor than the rain.

  13. East Pacific Hurricane & Tropical Storm Center
    Hurricane Iselle is a Category 1 Hurricane located at 18.5 N, -150.6 W with maximum sustained winds of 80 mph, gusting to 100 mph more >
    Hurricane Julio is a Category 2 Hurricane located at 16.9 N, -136.5 W with maximum sustained winds of 105 mph, gusting to 125 mph

  14. The last hurricane I saw was the letter “B” going up the east coast. All of a sudden we have “I” and “J”. What happened to C,D,E,F,G and H?

  15. East to west was my understanding, but then they referred to them as rare and I wondered. Thanks for confirming .

  16. David Larsen says:
    August 7, 2014 at 9:19 am

    The last hurricane I saw was the letter “B” going up the east coast. All of a sudden we have “I” and “J”. What happened to C,D,E,F,G and H?

    Atlantic and Pacific. Each have their own lists.

  17. This is hype hype hype. Track of Iselle likely on N side of island.. If you think Irene underperformed at 964 mb at acy, frictional effects and dry air should make this storms winds stay up at 2000 feet and over water ( there is a chance high mountains get high winds) In addition dry air will be entrained as storm approaches from downsloping off major volcanic ridges. As for Julio, will stay north.

    I expect few if any reports of actual hurricane conditions unless one counts mountain tops. Weakening storms have trouble getting strongest winds down to the surface, unless flow is aligned and that looks to be north of this over the water. ECWMF has this down to 40kts in its ensembles by tom morning.

    Getta kick out of this. NHC stopped Sandy from being a hurricane hit in spite of a) hurricane conditions b) 946 mb pressure verified on my family barometer in Somers PT nj, 1 hour of calm and wind gusts to 80 out of the south after eye passage c) did it 1 hour before. Here we have a steadily weakening storm at 985 mb ..likely to be up 10-15 mb by the time its at Hilo ( again Irene when getting torn up was at 964, but at least there were wind gusts to 100 on Long Island and 85 mph in Narragansett bay, and we are likely to see this be labeled as a hurricane. The news media is on the double trouble bandwagon. Well this is not the Carolinas in 1955 or 1999 with 2 hits within 10 days ( Dennis at 977 mb at actual landfall with 77kt winds was never upgraded), but one would think given coverage this is the apocalypse.

  18. “Global Warming” has evolved into a Religion that divides us. It is an argument about just ‘who is the good guy’, ‘who is the smartest among us’. It really has nothing to do with Climate Change it has everything to do with a band wagon that brings one group together to challenge another — it is not much different than what we are programmed to admire in terms of sports; one team challenging another. We love sports challenge and now our brainwashing has led us to love any contest of team challenge. Those who jump on the ‘I’m the good guy, I’m here to save mankind’ think they have the high road. Those who deny the whole game use scientific facts to challenge emotion. The fact is, emotion is a Religion that can’t be defeated with facts. Mankind is programmed to team challenges; thus sports morphs to politics and any particular flavor of the day dispute that can be sided into a team challenge. Our species is dominated by ‘dumb’ and thus the challenge of emotional dumb vs. scientific fact. And so it continues; bring in the clowns.

  19. Typical US-centric view of the world – don’t you realise that due to ex-hurricane Bertha, it might get a bit wet and windy in England on Sunday?

  20. David Larsen says:

    The last hurricane I saw was the letter “B” going up the east coast. All of a sudden we have “I” and “J”. What happened to C,D,E,F,G and H?

    B for Bertha was in the Atlantic basin.

    The Pacific basin gets has their own(different) name list:

    http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/aboutnames.shtml

    As you can see, the Pacific Basin has/had many more cyclones.

  21. You might also wonder what the difference is between a hurricane and typhoon and cyclone?
    Same things except for the name.

    Or why they call these storms hurricanes and not typhoons if they are in the Pacific?
    They are in the East Pacific. In the West Pacific, they are called typhoons.

    Same storms but different names, depending on ocean basin and even location within the basin.

    http://www.weather.com/outlook/weather-news/news/articles/difference-between-hurricane-typhoon-_2010-10-19

  22. “Joel O’Bryan says:
    August 7, 2014 at 9:04 am

    Hilo climatology, “Within the city of Hilo, average rainfall varies from about 130 inches a year near the shore to as much as 200 inches upslope. The wettest part of the island, with a mean annual rainfall exceeding 300 inches, lies about 6 miles upslope from the city limits.”

    Iselle will be summer rain shower with a little wind for residents on the east side of the island. The wind could be more of a factor than the rain. ”

    Don’t be confused by an annual rain total in the 200 inch range. Recall that is over a 365 day period. I am sure they get storms that drop 2 to 3 inches in a short period of time, but getting 12 to 20 inches of rain in a 24 hour period IS rain to be concerned with. Also recall that rain that is “upslope” invariably goes “downslope,” so those near the shore may get only 10 inches of straight rain, but all that upslope rain has to pass by on its way to the sea. Still think that the rain will be like “a summer storm?”

  23. Now, according to our would-be marketing experts, people should yawn at iselle because the name is feminine and wet their britches over Julio because it is a man’s name. Now is the times to test this dubious theory.(see referred post here from a few mo. ago.)

  24. In case anyone is interested, our friend from the NOAA Jeff Krob has made a belated return to last week’s post where he entertained us with his views on clouds, latent heat, and the like.

  25. Tom O,
    strong winter storms from the Gulf of Alaska pummel the north shore in Late Jan Feb. They can handle Iselle.
    Julio may be a different story since the drier Kona side may get hammered.

  26. NOAA CPC just announced a lowering of this years predicted Atlantic hurricanes. Slow learners? Or is just too tough to admit storms are not getting stronger or more frequent as CO2 continues to climb?

  27. Dr. William Crafton says:
    August 7, 2014 at 9:58 am

    ** Silly Grin**

    Please don’t totally conflate the science vs science aspect of this meme with the science vs emotion aspect. Where there actually is some science involved, discussion among peers does have some positive points.

  28. Joseph Bastardi says:
    August 7, 2014 at 9:38 am

    Getta kick out of this. NHC stopped Sandy from being a hurricane hit in spite of a) hurricane conditions b) 946 mb pressure verified on my family barometer in Somers PT nj, 1 hour of calm and wind gusts to 80 out of the south after eye passage c) did it 1 hour before.
    ——————————————————————————————————————————
    Sandy stopped being a hurricane because James Franklin said so. And James, in his own mind, is never wrong. Definitely a case of NHC-itis. “We know what the storm is doing because we can watch it on satellite. Who needs ground truth?”

  29. Kenya has the world’s 4th-largest HIV/AIDS epidemic.

    Indonesia is the most populous Muslim country, with extremists linking up with ISIS, the group so bloodthirsty and extreme even Al-Qaeda has distanced themselves.

    Chicago elected Rahm as mayor and the coupled descent into poverty and violence sped up.

    DC has seen terrible weather, but primarily has seen an enormous increase in federal workers with related supporting services, paid for with imaginary money pulled from a hole that really isn’t bottomless.

    Hawaii has dual hurricanes coming.

    Whatever becomes the next homeland, home state, or hometown of Obama, the smart people there should move.

  30. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    August 7, 2014 at 2:41 pm
    ==============
    Yep, but first things first.

  31. Weather fans will find this very interesting: https://twitter.com/Holoholo_WG

    Wave Glider Holoholo
    @Holoholo_WG
    A Liquid Robotics Wave Glider SV3 tweeting autonomously at sea.

    As Hawaiian residents and visitors hunker down to avoid the force of what could be two oncoming hurricanes, a robot is swimming straight into the path of the storms, tweeting photos as it goes.

    A Liquid Robotics Wave Glider known as Holoholo is autonomously heading directly at Hurricanes Iselle and Julio, both of which are thought to be threatening the Big Island of Hawaii.

    http://www.cnet.com/news/robot-at-sea-tweeting-hawaii-hurricane-photos/

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