Hawaiians Facing Tropical Storms Lane and Miriam
Dear Friends & Neighbors,
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The twelfth named storm, sixth hurricane, and fourth major hurricane of the 2018 Pacific hurricane season, Lane originated from a tropical wave that began producing disorganized thunderstorm activity several hundred miles off the southern coast of Mexico on August 11. Over the next four days, the disturbance gradually strengthened amid favorable weather conditions and became a tropical depression early on August 15. Twelve hours later, the depression intensified into Tropical Storm Lane. Gradual strengthening occurred for the next day and a half, which resulted in Lane reaching hurricane status by August 17, followed by rapid intensification that brought Lane to its initial peak intensity as a Category 4 hurricane on August 18. On August 19, Lane crossed into the Central Pacific basin, where increased wind shear weakened it. However, on August 20, Lane re-intensified into a Category 4 hurricane, and reached Category 5 intensity early on August 22. As Lane approached the Hawaiian Islands, it began to weaken as vertical wind shear once again increased. On August 29, Lane became a remnant low, due to constant wind shear.
Hurricane Lane prompted the issuance of hurricane watches and warnings for every island in Hawaii. Beginning on August 23, Lane brought heavy rains to Hawaii County, which caused flash flooding and mudslides. Hurricane Lane is the second-wettest tropical cyclone in the United States, after Hurricane Harvey of 2017. In addition, Lane is also the wettest tropical cyclone in Hawaii, surpassing Hurricane Hiki of 1950. A maximum of 52.02 inches (1,321 mm) of rain was recorded at Mountainview, Hawaii from August 22 to 26.
Lane diminished to a tropical storm as it approached and then shifted west, further from land, Hawaii was spared a direct hit from a major hurricane. Rain was still pouring down on the island chain, touching off flooding on Oahu and Kauai.
A flash flood watch remained in effect for the state capital Honolulu and Oahu, and 70% of Hawaii’s 1.4 million residents, as of Tuesday, August 28. 2018.
County of Kauai spokesman Alden Alayvilla said, “…we put out the National Weather Service flash advisory as well as the island-wide telephone call” on Tuesday morning. The advisory urged residents near Hanalei Bridge on the north side of the island to evacuate their homes due to rising stream levels. The Kauai Emergency Management Agency said, “Heavy pounding and hazardous conditions are being reported island-wide. Motorists are advised to drive with extreme caution. Update will be given as more information is made available.”
As Hawaii residents recover from Lane, they are keeping a watchful eye on Tropical Storm Miriam, spinning in the Pacific Ocean about 2,000 miles to the east and is expected to become a hurricane by the time it will be near the Hawaii islands. A resident living on the north side of Kauai said, “Miriam is supposed to go north and dissipate in the colder waters and drier air, so I’m not really worried about it. But it is a hurricane season, and there’s another one behind that. You know what they say: Without rain you wouldn’t have rainbows.”
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