I am doing my best, trying to stay up-to-date on the approaching Hawaiian hurricanes, Iselle and Julio. It’s not easy.
Hawaii is isolated in the Pacific. Radar only goes so far from shore. Many computer model domains don’t cover the islands.
Beyond that there is the wild card. The island of Hawaii has mountains that reach nearly 14,000 feet. Winds should be much stronger at that elevation than they are at sea level. All public hurricane forecasts are based on sea level.
Even if Iselle is a tropical storm by landfall (probable), the mountaintop observatory on Mona Kea might still get battered by hurricane force winds.
Since the creation of an access road in 1964, thirteen telescopes funded by eleven countries have been constructed at the summit. The Mauna Kea Observatories are used for scientific research across the electromagnetic spectrum from visible light to radio, and comprise one of the world’s largest telescope facilities of their type. – Wikipedia
For the rest of Hawaii, but mostly the big island, wind will do some damage, but rain will be the big story.
Rainfall totals of 5 to 8 inches, with isolated maximum amounts to 12 inches, are expected along the track of Iselle. These rains could cause life-threatening flash floods as well as rock and mud slides. – Central Pacific Hurricane Center
I tuned in to one Hawaiian station this morning, hoping to see hurricane coverage, but was surprised they were running “Live with Kelly and Michael.”
A second storm, Hurricane Julio, is following behind Iselle. It is likely to miss the islands, tracking a bit north. It will still be a large rain and wave maker.
Meanwhile, Hawaiian sized mountains are unusual where hurricanes (and typhoons, cyclones, etc.) normally are seen. I am concerned.