„The center of Douglas passed to the north of the Hawaiian Islands which spared them from the worse of Douglas’ conditions,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Adam Douty said about the hurricane’s path on Sunday. „The core of the strongest winds and heaviest rain remains offshore.”For the most part, AccuWeather Meteorologist Randy Adkins said Hawaii evaded most of the potential damage the hurricane could have caused. Wind and flooding damage was reported in isolated instances, mainly in the northern and eastern parts of Oahu and Kauai.
|Sand and debris is left on Kamehameha Highway from high surf generated by Hurricane Douglas, Sunday, July 26, 2020, in Hauula, Hawaii. Hurricane Douglas came within „razor thin” distance of the Hawaiian Islands but spared the state the worst of the strong winds, storm surge and flooding officials had warned about. (AP Photo/Eugene Tanner)|
Antonia Hall, from Kihei located on western Maui, told The Associated Press that she prepared for the hurricane by bringing in her porch furniture, buying nonperishable foods and filling her bathtub with an emergency water supply — all for the storm to miss her home.
„Maui has skirted so many hurricanes,” Hall said. „This is just kind of something we go through here.”
Duke Stevens, from Hana located on Maui’s eastern tip, said he has „seen a lot worse,” in his time living in Maui, The AP reported. According to Stevens’ account, the wind on the island had relented by Sunday afternoon, and a light rain that fell through the night eventually diminished.
„It’s nice that we were all prepared, but it’s ultimately good that it didn’t happen,” Lindsey Read, a resident of the Honolulu neighborhood of Kaimuki told Hawaii News Now. „We filled up our waters; we filled up all the extra tanks. We got our screens pulled back in. We fixed up our jalousies. We were ready to go.”
Parts of Kauai, such as Mount Waialeale, received over 5 inches of rain and Kilohana reaching 4.97 inches. The rest of Kauai and Oahu received much less.
„The northern and eastern portion of Oahu bore the brunt of the damaging weather with strong wind gusts the main force here,” Adkins said. „Heavy rainfall was isolated in nature across the island with most locations recording less than 1 inch of rain.”
Douglas became the first major hurricane of the 2020 season and eventually reached Category 4 strength late Thursday. At the height of its strength, the hurricane packed maximum sustained winds of 130 mph as it rumbled through the East Pacific.
Prior to the arrival of the storm, Hawaii Gov. David Ige issued an emergency proclamation as residents prepared for the incoming severe weather.
„We have limited shelter space due to COVID-19 guidelines, so we are urging the public to make preparations now to possibly shelter in place at your home, or a family or friend’s home,” Maui Emergency Management Agency administrator Herman Andaya told Hawaii News Now.
The storm caused travel uncertainty in the days prior to its closest approach. Hawaiian Airlines announced adjustments due to the hurricane, including the cancellation of some flights scheduled for Saturday, July 25, and all transpacific and inter-island flights on Sunday, July 26. They also issued a travel waiver for all flights in and out of the islands between July 24 and 28.
On Monday, Hawaii News Now reported that Hawaii Airlines will now work toward resuming flights as normal after the threat of Douglas subsided. Hawaiian Airlines cancelled its first Monday morning roundtrip flights to Lihue, Kahului, Kona and Hilo, while Southwest Airlines had cancelled all Sunday flights but planned to resume all Monday flights. Alaska Airlines added another eastbound run to Hawaii for Monday after cancelling a Seattle flight on Sunday to get its crew.
Federal Emergency Management Agency officials urged caution on Twitter even though the dangerous storm had passed.
„The storm may be over, but that doesn’t mean the danger is,” FEMA stated. „Stay tuned to local news for important announcements concerning the storm area and forms of assistance, such as food, water, and shelter.”
|Waikiki Beach fronting the Hilton Hawaiian Village is deserted as Oahu residents take shelter before the arrival of Hurricane Douglas, Sunday, July 26, 2020, in Honolulu.|
Due to the location of Hawaii in the Pacific, it is very rare for hurricanes to strike the islands.
The last hurricane that caused significant impacts in Hawaii was Hurricane Lane in 2018. Although Lane did not make landfall, it produced record-breaking rainfall for the state with 58 inches total recorded on the Big Island.
Before Lane, the last hurricane to affect Hawaii was Iniki in 1992. The most destructive hurricane in the state’s recorded history, Iniki caused almost $3 billion in damages.
„Hawaii is typically surrounded by cooler waters which do not support tropical activity,” Douty explained. „As a result, hurricanes and tropical storms weaken and dissipate as they approach them.”
Douty said this was the case with Douglas, which peaked at Category 4 intensity but weakened to Category 1 storm by the time it passed the archipelago.
„Douglas was just strong enough that it is taking a long time to weaken, which is why it was able to reach Hawaii as a hurricane,” Douty said.
„Douglas was across a region of very warm ocean water and within light wind shear, which is favorable for tropical development. That is why it was able to strengthen so much and so rapidly,” he added.
Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.
Heat that has been largely confined to extreme southern Europe so far this summer will be unleashed across western Europe by the end of this week.
A change in the weather pattern during the second half of the week will help to bring warm air from southern Europe into northern locations that have had temperatures at or even below normal so far this summer.
„An area of high pressure will build over western Europe on Wednesday then move into central Europe by the start of the weekend,” stated AccuWeather Meteorologist Tyler Roys.
Temperatures will begin to creep higher across France on Wednesday, but they are expected to reaching sweltering levels during the second half of the week. Temperatures in the upper 70s and lower 80s on Tuesday will be replaced with highs in the middle 80s to lower 100s, mainly across southern locations, on Thursday.
Temperatures will climb even higher across France on Friday as warmer air continues to surge north. Afternoon temperatures in the 90s and lower 100s will be common across the country.
By Friday, the heat will try to sneak into western Germany as well as the United Kingdom.
„Afternoon highs can reach into the upper 70s and 80s around the core of the heat,” Roys added. „London could even make a run at 90 F.”
Normal high temperatures for the end of July across western Europe range from 71 F in London, United Kingdom, to 86 F in Madrid, Spain.
„As for Italy, there will be widespread 90s outside of the mountains, including many coastal locations. The interior valleys in central Italy will try to reach around 100 F late this week,” Roys said.
Widespread highs in the 90s and lower 100s will also return to Spain and eastern Portugal this week.
While these are above-normal temperatures for the end of July, it is not out of the ordinary for the season so far. This time last week, thermometers across Spain had similar readings.
These temperatures carry the risk of causing heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Anyone spending extended periods of time outside should stay hydrated and take breaks from the heat in the shade or indoors. Any strenuous activity should try to be scheduled for early mornings or late evenings, out of the heat of the day.Hot and dry conditions throughout much of this week will increase the risk for wildfires across western Europe.The fire department in Le Tuzan, located in southwestern France, is urging residents to evacuate as a wildfire located to the north in Louchats threatens the town.As of Monday evening, around 80 hectares (198 acres) have been burned so far, according to a local reporter.By the beginning of the weekend, a cold front is forecast to sweep across northwestern Europe, bringing temperatures back to normal levels across the U.K.Hot and dry conditions are expected to continue elsewhere in western Europe through at least the weekend.
Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.
U.S.Hurricane Douglas: Parts of Hawaii brace for Category 1 storm
•Officials told Hawaii residents Sunday to brace for a category 1 hurricane barreling toward the islands with 90 mph winds and flash flood warnings.Maui was expected to be hit first, Oahu by the afternoon and Kauai and Niihau by the evening, the National Hurricane Center said. The Big Island of Hawaii is under a tropical storm warning.”Heavy rainfall associated with Douglas is expected to affect portions of the main Hawaiian Islands from early this morning into Monday,” the center forecast, warning residents of up to 15 inches of rain in elevated areas. Officials warned that the heavy rainfall could produce flash floods and said that even in areas under tropical storm warnings, „the steep terrain of the islands” makes hurricane-force winds possible.IMAGE: Hurricane Douglas (NOAA)”Large breaking waves will raise water levels by as much as 3 feet above normal tides near the center,” the center warned, saying the waves would bring a dangerous storm surge.City and state parks closed throughout the islands Sunday, and some grocery stores and markets shuttered early. Anyone camping at Oahu city parks was told the leave, and some tourist destinations were closed, as well.Hawaii is experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases. The state recorded its third straight single-day record Saturday, according to NBC affiliate KHNL of Honolulu, with 73 new cases reported. Of those, 68 were found on Oahu and five on Maui, where the storm is expected to have an impact.
The warning has since been canceled, but Douglas is still bringing Hawaii gusty winds, flooding rain and life-threatening surf.
Hurricanes don’t make landfall in Hawaii or even make it to the Hawaii waters very often. Only two hurricanes in recorded history have made landfall in Hawaii: Hurricane Iniki in 1992 and Hurricane Dot in 1959.
Why are Hawaii hurricanes so rare? There are a few reasons.
One is that the Hawaiian islands take up such a small amount of space in the Pacific Ocean, Earth’s biggest ocean.
The odds of a hurricane colliding with 10,931 square miles of islands in 6,246 million square miles of Pacific Ocean is very small.
Compare that to Florida, for example, which covers 65,755 square miles and is part of the eastern seaboard of North America, which in itself offers an even larger, vastly easier-to-hit target for Atlantic Hurricanes.
Second, there’s a strong, subtropical, high-pressure build to the north of Hawaii during the central Pacific hurricane season. That sends drier, more stable air into the hurricane path, inhibiting thunderstorms from persisting and staying clustered near the cyclone’s center.
Also, the wind shear — the change in wind speed and/or direction with height — is typically stronger near Hawaii, acting to displace thunderstorms from the cyclone’s center.
Finally, cooler sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean east of Hawaii keep the air somewhat cooler above the water. This increases the stability of the atmosphere, making it less susceptible to forming and maintaining thunderstorms.
Favorable ocean water temperature for a hurricane to strengthen is 79 degrees or higher. The water east of Hawaii is usually in the lower to mid 70s.
ABC News’ Emily Shapiro contributed to this report.
Authorities said a woman appears to have been killed Monday by a shark in Maine, a state that researchers say has recorded only one confirmed unprovoked attack in nearly 200 years.
The Maine Marine Patrol said in a statement that the woman, who was not identified, was likely attacked while swimming near Bailey Island, northeast of Portland.
She was pronounced dead at the scene.
The patrol said an eyewitness reported seeing the attack. Kayakers brought the woman to shore, the statement said.
Citing a witness, NBC affiliate WCSH reported that there were possibly two people in the water at the time of the attack. One was thrown into the air and suffered serious injuries, the witness said.
According to researchers at the Florida Museum of Natural History, which tracks shark attacks in the United States and around the world, the state has recorded only one attack since 1837. It’s unclear if that attack was fatal.
Attacks in the northeast are generally rare, with New York State and Massachusetts logging 18 between them, according to the database.
Florida has recorded 852 attacks, the most in the world, according to the database.