There have been a handful of tropical storm events on the islands, but hurricane force storms have been very rare.
The two occasions since 1900, when a hurricane made landfall, were Hurricane Iniki in 1992 and Hurricane Dot in 1959. Iniki was a severe Category 4 storm on land and Hurricane Dot was a category 1.
“It’s pretty common for hurricanes to head to Hawaii, but they usually dissipate or at least weaken considerably before they impact the islands,” said Phil Klotzbach, a researcher at Colorado State University.
“For example, Lane and Olivia made an impact on Hawaii in 2018. Additionally, in 2016, Lester and Madeline threatened Hawaii. “
The main threats are storm surges, dangerous waves, gusts of wind and heavy rains.
“With the center of the storm moving along the northern side of the islands, the northern and eastern shores facing north and east will initially feel the weight of the wind and high waves,” CNN meteorologist Chad said. Myers. “As the storm continues to the west today, strong winds and waves will also affect the west and south shores.”
The northern islands will also receive the majority of precipitation. Spread amounts are likely to be 2-4 inches over the Big Island, while precipitation totals are likely to exceed 5-8 inches from County Maui to County Kauai. Some isolated locations with high terrain could receive up to 15 inches of rain before the system moves on Monday.
Slow start to the hurricane season in the Eastern Pacific
In a season that saw the early formation of storms in the Atlantic, the eastern Pacific has been slower for storm development than in previous years.
“During the period of reliable records, this is the fourth last date that the first hurricane of the season has formed,” according to the National Hurricane Center.
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A slow hurricane season in the Pacific, especially when paired with an active hurricane season in the Atlantic, is a sign of a La Niña event, which forecasters predicted could occur this year.
Under La Niña, global convective wind currents produce descending air over the eastern Pacific and ascending air over the western Atlantic.
The flowing air pattern increases wind shear, a sudden change in direction, speed, or both, which can tear hurricanes apart before they have a chance to develop. Rising air creates a favorable environment for the development of tropical storms, which is why all eyes are on the Atlantic this season.