This is getting downright ridiculous. Over the last few weeks we have had multiple flash floods, a few hurricanes wander by, and a tsunami come ashore. Admittedly none of the hurricanes have come directly in, missing the island. The tsunami was only about a meter and no damage has been reported. The flooding has caused some property damage and a lot of cleanup has been required. Aliʻi drive is a mess again as are several other roadways. An interesting summer.
Predicted hurricane tracks continue to be the subject of conversation around the islands. The latest now shows Jimena curving back at the islands, when the predictions from five days ago showed the storm tracking off to the far north. Really?
At least it missed our island. Now it is the residents of Oahu and Kauai that need to worry.
A beautiful image from the NOAA-NASA GOES Project of a full disk Earth. Off to the west of the islands you can see the re-formed Hurricane Kilo, to our immediate east if Ignacio, with Jimena right behind. The forecast calls for tropical storm force winds to begin on the island as soon as tonight. Also visible is an active region of thunderstorms off the Mexican coast, the spawning ground for the next hurricane.
Officially referred to as ENSO, or El Niño Southern Ocsillation, this event is a period of dramatically warm surface water temperatures that occurs across the equatorial Pacific Ocean. These events usually alternate with periods of cooler temperatures, or La Niña events, and can have dramatic effects on weather across the globe.
The immediate effects of the warming water are already being felt… Water temperatures around the islands are at least 2°C above normal, pushing our normally cool water into near bathtub temperatures. Local divers are commenting on the warm water temperatures, those who normally wear wet suits are comfortable without.
This warm water is also fueling the series of hurricanes sweeping past the islands. The storms just keep coming. It will be an interesting year!
It looks like yet another hurricane is coming this way, the island squarely in the predicted path. The seemingly endless series of storms passing through is making the 2015 hurricane season one of the most active on record.
Ignacio is expected to become a major storm, crossing the island as a full hurricane. If that is not enough we have Jimena further out and following a similar track. No one expects that to be the end of the series either, with sea water temperatures well above normal and continuing to warm there will be further storms.
I am truly grateful we live on the leeward side of the island, sheltered from the worst of the effects of these storms. A 14,000ft mountain standing between our house and the oncoming hurricane. I do worry about our many friends who live on the other side of the island.
As the storm nears and if it becomes apparent that the island will be hit we will perform our last minute storm preparations, fill the water jugs and secure the lanai furniture. Everything else is already done, held over from the last storm, plenty of emergency supplies and propane on-hand.
The past two weeks have seen a great deal of precipitation over normally dry Kohala grasslands. Over three inches at the house last week and another three over the last few days from the remains of tropical storm Kilo. This amounts to over half our normal annual rainfall for Waikoloa. The result has been hot muggy weather that has everyone complaining.
No sign of it letting up either. Tropical depression 12E has graduated into tropical storm Ignacio with a probable path that includes the island. Looking at the sea temperature anomaly maps gives a possible reason, the forming El Nino is stronger than expected, surprisingly warm. Life will be interesting.
Hurricane Ana brought nothing more than a day of soaking rain to our part of the island. It was the lack of wind that was striking, with the hurricane directly offshore we had calm conditions. There was some flooding and moderate winds along the Kaʻu coast. Not much word on damage, I suspect it was minimal, nothing like what would have happened if the storm had followed the original forecast track.
A new week has begin, time to see what next adventure life will bring…