Discussion in 'The Bar' started by SIPAWITZ, Aug 8, 2014.
Iselle should bring heavy downpours of 4 to 8 inches over the Big Island; in isolated spots up to 12 inches, the hurricane center predicts.
That could cause rock and mudslides. And it would further saturate the ground in advance of Julio's arrival with more rain.
Also, the storm surge could come on top of high tide, pushing 1 to 2 feet of water onto land, and depending on overlap with tides, could hit isolated areas hard.
Ports are taking no chance, and Thursday, the U.S. Coast Guard upped warning levels to signal the storm was nearing.
"All oceangoing commercial vessels and oceangoing barges greater than 200 gross tons are expected to make preparations to leave the ports," it said. Ships wishing to remain in port are required to file a safe mooring plan
A relatively rare event
Direct hits are rare for the state. Since the 1950s, only two hurricane eyes have hit Hawaii -- and both approached from the south, where water temperature generally is warm enough to sustain the storms' strength.
Iselle, however, approaches from the east, and it would be the first tropical cyclone from that direction to hit the state since the satellite era began in 1959, CNN meteorologist Dave Hennen said.
That's not to say Hawaii hasn't had close calls. The central Pacific sees an average of about five tropical cyclones a year, and some have brushed the state in recent decades.
But Iselle is poised to overcome a number of factors that in recent decades conspired to keep the storms from hitting Hawaii directly or weaken them before they got there.
The cyclones generally approach from the east after forming in the eastern Pacific. But close to Hawaii, dry air, cooler water and wind shear combine to weaken approaching cyclones, dissipating them before they can become a significant threat, CNN meteorologist Indra Petersons said.
Now, however, the water off Hawaii is warmer than usual, and that could keep Iselle at hurricane strength if it hits Hawaii island as expected Thursday, Petersons said.
Hawaii's most damaging hurricane in recent decades -- Hurricane Iniki of 1992 -- came during an El Nino year, or a year of above-average sea surface temperatures. This year hasn't met the criteria for El Nino, but it could in the weeks ahead, Petersons said.
Iniki killed at least four people and caused about $2 billion in damage when it hit the western Hawaiian island of Kauai, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Paul Simon - Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard
Did Julio pass out drunk before he hit the Islands?