Tropical Storm Darby Claims Large Tour Boat Off Kona Coast

The Coast Guard is responding to the grounding of the Spirit of Kona on the island of Hawai’i, Sunday.
Kona Boat
Representatives from Coast Guard Sector Honolulu, Department of Natural Resources, Hawaii Division of Boating and Recreation, commercial salvors and the owner of the vessel are working to develop a salvage plan.

Coast Guard Sector Honolulu watchstanders received notification Sunday morning from a good Samaritan reporting the 65-foot Spirit of Kona, a commercial passenger vessel, aground on the rocks near the Kailua-Kona Lighthouse.

Kona Boat2

Representatives from Coast Guard Sector Honolulu at Marine Safety Detachment Hawaii, state agencies and commercial salvors have attended the scene to assess the vessel and reported a 120 yard by 53 yard non-recoverable rainbow sheen in the vicinity.

The vessel reportedly has a maximum pollution potential of 600 gallons of diesel fuel aboard, commercial batteries and 19.5 gallons of hydraulic and lube oils. No wildlife was seen in the area or reportedly affected.

The vessel reportedly broke free of its mooring in Kailua Bay as Tropical Storm Darby passed over the region early Sunday. No one was aboard the vessel at the time of the incident. Sector Honolulu watchstanders have issued a broadcast notice to mariners reporting the vessel as a possible hazard to navigation.
Spirit of Kona
As the Spirit of Kona is a commercial vessel, operated by Blue Sea Cruises, the Coast Guard will investigate the cause the of the grounding and work with the owner to address repairs and operating requirements once salvaged. A notice of federal interest has been issued.

Tropical Storm Darby continues to impact the Main Hawaiian Islands Sunday. Commercial ports on Hawaii, Maui, Molokai and Oahu are closed. The Coast Guard encourages boat owners to take precautions with regard to their vessels by moving them to protected areas, doubling up lines and taking them out of the water as applicable.

Darby continues to move west northwest. Localized damaging winds of 30 to 40 mph can be expected, along with gusts of 50 to 60 mph or greater. Surf along east facing shores of Maui will be 8 to 12 feet. Surf along east facing shores of Kauai, Oahu, and Molokai will be 6 to 10 feet. Passing rainbands will bring periods of showers. There is a chance for intense downpours or thunderstorms to develop near Maui county, then spread to Oahu and Kauai later today. Additional rainfall totals of 5 to 10 inches with local amounts up to 15 inches are expected with tropical storm Darby.

Hawaii Electric Light Restores Power to 900 Customers After Tropical Storm Darby

Overnight, Hawaii Electric Light restored electric service to 900 customers in various parts of Hamakua, upper Puna, and Kona that were impacted by high winds from Tropical Storm Darby. About 100 customers in Hawaiian Paradise Park, Leilani Estates, Kapoho, Orchidland Estates, Honokaa, and Kailua-Kona remain without power.

 Hawaii Electric Light crews work to restore electric service in Hawaiian Paradise Park.


Hawaii Electric Light crews work to restore electric service in Hawaiian Paradise Park.

Crews worked through the night to repair damage to utility poles and power lines that was caused primarily by fallen trees, tree branches, and tree bark contacting power lines.

“Many of our employees have been working around the clock since Friday to prepare for the storm and to then safely restore electric service as quickly as possible,” said Rhea Lee-Moku, public information officer. “We know how difficult it is to be without electricity for a long period of time, and we thank our customers for their patience and understanding.”

Hawaii Electric Light expects to restore service to the remaining 100 customers tonight. However, it cautions that although the eye of the storm has passed over Hawaii Island, the weather forecast reports thunderstorms and heavy rain approaching the east side of the island. Lightning and moisture-soaked trees can make work conditions unsafe for crews. This may delay restoration efforts in areas impacted by the thunderstorms. Crews will continue to work to restore power to customers unless weather conditions become hazardous and unsafe.

The company also reminds the community that high winds and heavy rains may have partially-uprooted trees and cracked tree branches that can easily topple or break. Do not approach or touch a downed line as it can be energized and dangerous.

To report an outage, a low-hanging or downed power line, please call 969-6666. Hawaii Electric Light continues to proactively post outage notifications, including power restoration updates, on its Twitter account @HIElectricLight with the hashtag #BigIslandOutage.

Hawaii Residents Can Spot the Space Station Tonight

Hawaii residents can spot the International Space Station tonight (depending on clouds).

International Space Station

It will be visible beginning tonight, Sunday, July 24, at 8:11 PM. It will be visible for approximately 4 minutes at a Maximum Height of 62 degrees. It will appear 11 degrees above the South Southwest part of the sky and disappear 30 degrees above the East Northeast part of the sky.

Facebook Using Safety Check Feature for Tropical Storm Darby

Well I have heard of the Facebook “Safety Check” feature that happens on Facebook when natural disasters happen or major things like terrorist attacks.

Never in my mind did I think I would ever have it pop up on my Facebook timeline, but tonight it did!
Facebook Safety CheckI marked myself “safe” of course.  I could have marked some of my friends that I know are safe as well… but I figure I’ll let them do that so they get the opportunity to use the new feature themselves.

Darby Almost Done on the Big Island – Steady Weakening Anticipated

Tropical Storm Darby is beginning to move past the Big Island of Hawaii.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

A Tropical Storm Warning has been issued for Kauai County, including the islands of Kauai and Niihau.

Darby 723 5pm track

The 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron flew through Darby for a good portion of the day, and departed the storm just before the poorly-defined center came ashore over the southeastern portion of the Big Island near Pahala around 2 pm.  The center is estimated to be traversing the southern slopes of the Big Island at this time.

Surface pressures were rising each time the plane sampled the system, and flight-level winds indicated that Darby’s intensity had weakened to near 35 kt, and that is the initial intensity for this advisory.  Another reconnaissance flight is scheduled for early Sunday morning to determine what remains of Darby’s circulation after it emerges from the Big Island.

The initial motion is estimated to be 275/09 kt, with the poorly-defined center of Darby currently estimated to be over interior portions of the Big Island.  After emerging from the Big Island later this evening, a turn toward the northwest is expected, with Darby moving toward the northwest through the remainder of the forecast period.

Darby is still expected to move into a weakness in the mid-level ridge to its north over the next 24 hours, as a deep-layer low remains nearly stationary far north of the Hawaiian Islands.

While the spread in the track guidance has increased slightly from the previous cycle, it continues to indicate a steady northwest motion.  The updated track forecast is close to the previous and the multi-model consensus TVCN.

As the center of Darby is currently over the Big Island, there is considerable uncertainty as to what will remain of the low-level circulation once it moves back over water later this evening.  The intensity forecast is conservatively maintaining Darby as a minimal tropical storm through 24 hours until it is clear that re-development will not occur.

Thereafter, steady weakening is anticipated, as increasing shear and gradually cooling waters lie along the forecast track.  The updated forecast indicates weakening to a remnant low in 72 hours, with dissipation expected by the end of the forecast period.  This is a slower rate of weakening than depicted by global models through the first 24 hours, and the intensity consensus, IVCN, but closely follows IVCN thereafter.

If Darby’s circulation does not survive its interaction with the Big Island’s rugged terrain, than dissipation will likely occur much sooner.

New Thermal Image Map Shows Where Lava is Active

This image shows a thermal map of the flow on the pali and coastal plain, created from airborne thermal images. White pixels are hot, and show areas of active surface breakouts. The background image is a satellite image collected before the current lava flow was active.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The thermal map shows minimal activity on the upper pali, with a channelized ʻaʻā flow at the base of the pali. The flow front area had scattered pāhoehoe breakouts, with a narrow lobe of active lava forming the leading tip of the flow. The leading tip of the flow was 730 m (0.45 miles) from the ocean.

Sluggish Lava Breakouts Advance Slowly on Coastal Plain

The flow front remains active and consists of slowly advancing pāhoehoe. There are scattered breakouts along the margins of the flow on the coastal plain and base of the pali.

hvo 723a

During the overflight yesterday, the flow front was 730 m (0.45 miles) from the ocean.

A faint double rainbow provided a beautiful backdrop for sluggish pāhoehoe lava oozing out from near the flow front this morning.  Pictures were taken as part of a site visit to the G61 flow front on July 22, 2016.   The flow was about 615m from the road and 760 m from the ocean. (Click to enlarge)

A faint double rainbow provided a beautiful backdrop for sluggish pāhoehoe lava oozing out from near the flow front this morning. Pictures were taken as part of a site visit to the G61 flow front on July 22, 2016.
The flow was about 615m from the road and 760 m from the ocean. (Click to enlarge)

During early morning field observations, a large breakout of lava near the base of Pūlama Pali (steep fault scarp in background) was visible through fumes from the lava tube and heat shimmer from lava on the coastal plain.

The approximate location of the lava tube feeding Kīlauea's active lava flow is visible as degassing sources (white fume) on the pali. (Click to enlarge)

The approximate location of the lava tube feeding Kīlauea’s active lava flow is visible as degassing sources (white fume) on the pali. (Click to enlarge)

A breakout at the base of the pali viewed by a field crew this morning has formed a channelized ʻaʻā flow on the steeper portion of the coastal plain.

hvo 723d

A close up view of the ʻaʻā channel.

hvo 723e

Civil Defense Update on Tropical Storm Darby

This is a Civil Defense message.

This is a Tropical Storm Darby update as of Saturday July 23rd 11 AM.

Darby Sat 723 1244

The flash flood warning for the Big Island has been downgraded to a flood advisory.  A flood advisory means minor, general or area flooding is occurring, imminent or highly likely in flood prone areas. The High Surf Warning for east facing shores and a Tropical Storm Warning for the entire island remains in effect for Hawaii County.

As of 11 AM today, Tropical Storm Darby is located about 60 miles south-southeast of Hilo moving to the west at 10 miles per hour. Maximum sustained winds are 45 miles per hour with higher gusts.

Rain and wind from Tropical Storm Darby are affecting the Big Island. Residents are urged to stay off the road if at all possible.

Should power be lost or access be blocked-ensure you have prescription medications, ice, water, oxygen, backup power and fuel if needed.

To keep everyone safe, all State and County park facilities and remote areas of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park are closed until further notice.

Hele-On Bus service is suspended today. Solid waste transfer stations and landfills are closed today.

Umauma Bridge on Highway 19 remains closed with a detour through Old Mamalahoa Highway.

For a list of County Emergency Shelters and the details of this message, go to hawaiicounty.gov

Monitor your local radio broadcasts for information updates.

~ Hawaii County Civil Defense

11:00 Update on Tropical Storm Darby – Heading Towards South Point

The 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron has been flying through Darby all morning, providing valuable data as to Darby’s strength and size. Maximum flight level winds near 50 kt indicate that Darby has weakened slightly since their visit last night, and the initial intensity for this advisory has been reduced to 40 kt.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The initial motion is estimated to be 280/09 kt, with the poorly-defined center of Darby located on the north side of the deep convection. Track guidance is fairly well clustered this time around, and continues to indicate that the center of Darby will move over the Big Island later today as it moves toward the west.

Darby is expected to move into a weakness in the mid-level ridge to its north over the next day or so, due to a deep-layer low centered well to the north of the Hawaiian Islands. This will result in a gradual turn toward the northwest, as well as a gradual increase in forward speed. The official track forecast is close to the previous and a tightly clustered guidance suite, and offers no significant changes.

SUMMARY OF 1100 AM HST…2100 UTC…INFORMATION

  • LOCATION…18.9N 154.8W
  • ABOUT 60 MI…95 KM SSE OF HILO HAWAII
  • ABOUT 260 MI…420 KM SE OF HONOLULU HAWAII
  • MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…45 MPH…75 KM/H
  • PRESENT MOVEMENT…W OR 280 DEGREES AT 10 MPH…17 KM/H
  • MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…1002 MB…29.59 INCHES

WATCHES AND WARNINGS

CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY:

None

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…

  • Hawaii County
  • Maui County, including the islands of Maui, Molokai, Lanai and Kahoolawe
  • Oahu

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for…

  • Kauai County, including the islands of Kauai and Niihau

Civil Defense Update on Tropical Storm Darby

This is a Tropical Storm Darby update for Saturday July 23nd at 5:30 AM.
Darby Sat 723
The National Weather Service issued a Tropical Storm Warning for Hawaii County. A High Surf Warning for east facing shores is also in effect. A Flash Flood Advisory is in effect for Hawaii County.

As of 5 AM today, Tropical Storm Darby is located about 100 miles southeast of Hilo moving to the west at 9 miles per hour. Maximum sustained winds are 50 miles per hour with higher gusts.

Rain and wind from Tropical Storm Darby are affecting the Big Island. Residents are urged to stay off the road if at all possible.

Should power be lost or access be blocked-ensure you have prescription medications, ice, water, oxygen, backup power and fuel if needed.

To keep everyone safe, all State and County park facilities and remote areas of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park are closed until further notice.

Hele-On Bus service is suspended today. Solid waste transfer stations and landfills are closed today.

Umauma Bridge on Highway 19 closed with a detour through Old Mamalahoa Highway.

For a list of County Emergency Shelters and the details of this message, go to hawaiicounty.gov.

Monitor your local radio broadcasts for information updates.

Thank you for listening, this is your Hawaii County Civil Defense.

National Weather Service Reports Darby is Here – Not Where I live!

NOTE: I personally can’t see anything going on at this time on the Big Island:

Deep convection associated with Darby has increased once again this morning, with the bulk of this activity now across the system’s southeast semicircle. Outflow remains best within the northeast quadrant, but is restricted throughout the south semicircle, thanks to continued 7 to 10 kt southwest shear.

darby 723 5am

Low cloud swirls east of the LLCC add confidence to the initial position based heavily on satellite fixes. However, Darby continues to defy predictions to gain latitude.

Given the continued messy satellite presentation and the lack of aircraft data for this package, it’s possible that this system is a tenth of a degree or two farther south.

The next forecast package may benefit from land-based weather radar position estimates. Initial intensity is decreased to 45 kt as a compromise between continued 35 kt objective Dvorak satellite intensity estimates and earlier SFMR intensity from reconnaissance aircraft. The next aircraft reconnaissance mission will be later this morning.

Full report here: http://www.prh.noaa.gov/cphc/tcpages/archive/?prod=TCDCP3.EP052016.048.201607231459

National Weather Service 11pm Tropical Storm Darby Update

Darby’s satellite presentation continues to be messy, with deep convection now on the decline and beginning to wrap around the south and southwest quadrants. Cloud tops have warmed over the past six hours and the best outflow continues to be toward the northeast, consistent with southwesterly shear near 10 kt depicted by SHIPS.

Darby 722 11pm

The 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron’s WC-130J aircraft did a fine job this evening finding the center of this system, so we are confident we know where Darby is and how it is moving. Based on aircraft SFMR data from the first pass through the center, we will keep an initial intensity of 50 kt for this advisory.

Like before, this is higher than the objective Dvorak satellite intensity estimates from the three satellite analysis centers (HFO, JTWC and SAB). These range from 30 kt to 45 kt. Interestingly, an 0630 UTC ASCAT pass only found 35 kt within the northeast quadrant. The next aircraft reconnaissance mission into Darby will be Saturday morning.

Full report here: http://www.prh.noaa.gov/cphc/tcpages/archive/?prod=TCDCP3.EP052016.047.201607230856

4.1 Magnitude Earthquake Shakes Kona Area of Big Island of Hawaii

A 4.1 magnitude earthquake was just registered in the Kailua-Kona area of the Big Island.
41 Kona
No tsunami was generated from it.  Full report here:  http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/hv61350131#executive

UPDATE:

New Alert: Tsunami Information (Hawaiian Islands) – On The Western Flank Of Mauna Loa – 4.0,
INFORMATION, A Tsunami Information has been issued by NWS PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER EWA BEACH HI for ON THE WESTERN FLANK OF MAUNA LOA at July 23, 07:20:00 GMT.

TSUNAMI SEISMIC INFORMATION STATEMENT NUMBER 1
NWS PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER EWA BEACH HI
920 PM HST FRI JUL 22 2016

TO – EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT IN THE STATE OF HAWAII

SUBJECT – LOCAL TSUNAMI INFORMATION STATEMENT

THIS STATEMENT IS FOR INFORMATION ONLY. NO ACTION REQUIRED.

AN EARTHQUAKE HAS OCCURRED WITH THESE PRELIMINARY PARAMETERS

ORIGIN TIME – 0916 PM HST 22 JUL 2016
COORDINATES – 19.5 NORTH 155.9 WEST
LOCATION – ON THE WESTERN FLANK OF MAUNA LOA
MAGNITUDE – 4.0

EVALUATION:

NO TSUNAMI IS EXPECTED. REPEAT. NO TSUNAMI IS EXPECTED.

THIS WILL BE THE ONLY STATEMENT ISSUED FOR THIS EVENT UNLESS ADDITIONAL DATA ARE RECEIVED.

Hawaii Governor Signs Emergency Proclamation for Tropical Storm Darby

Gov. David Ige signed a pre-landfall emergency proclamation as the state prepares for Tropical Storm Darby. The proclamation authorizes the expenditure of state monies for quick, easy and efficient relief of disaster-related damages, losses and suffering resulting from the storm.

Click to read full proclamation and what it covers.

Click to read full proclamation and what it covers.

“Our top priority is to protect the health, safety and welfare of Hawai‘i’s residents and visitors. I urge residents and businesses to follow emergency instructions, prepare for the storm and take steps to protect your families, employees and property. The state is standing by to assist the counties — particularly Hawai‘i and Maui counties — which are expected to be the first to feel the impact of Tropical Storm Darby,” said Gov. Ige.

The disaster emergency relief period begins on July 22 and continues through July 29, 2016.

Hawaii State Closes Areas for Arrival of Tropical Storm Darby

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is closing state forest and park areas on the islands of Hawaii and Maui, in anticipation of the effects of tropical storm Darby this weekend.

Darby Satellite 722DLNR is asking for the public’s cooperation with this announcement of area closures as the storm approaches. Additional closures for Oahu and Kauai may follow over the weekend, and updates will be provided to news media and on the department’s website.

People are advised to avoid forested and coastal areas due to potential for rising streams, flash flooding, falling trees or high surf as well as ocean water surging and sweeping across beaches and rocky coastal benches and lava flows.  High surf may create the potential for impacts to coastal properties and infrastructure, including roadways.  Powerful longshore and rip currents will be present at most beaches.

DLNR areas closing on Friday, July 22:

HAWAII ISLAND

Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) will close by 3 p.m. today all forest reserves, wildlife sanctuaries, natural area reserves, Na Ala Hele hiking trails, forest campgrounds and game management areas, includingKeanakolu cabins, Ainapo hiking trail, Muliwai trail and Waimanu valley campground until further notice.  Camping permits for this weekend are cancelled until further notice. Saturday’s planned cattle hunt will be cancelled.

Division of State Parks is closing its park campgrounds, pavilions and cabins today. All Big Island parks will remain closed on Saturday and will not re-open until conditions warrant.

Persons holding camping and cabin permits for this weekend were notified by staff, and offered a refund or an alternate date.  An email blast to Kealakekua Bay kayak permit holders was issued to inform them of the approaching storm.

Those with reservations continuing on Monday, should check with the Hawaii parks office on Monday morning.

MAUI COUNTY 

Division of Forestry and Wildlife will close by 3 p.m. today all of its managed lands, including forest reserves, wildlife sanctuaries, natural area reserves, Na Ala Hele hiking trails, game management areas; this closure also affects Polipoli State Park (persons with camping permits are being notified).

Division of State Parks –  Parks will remain open Friday.  They will be closed on Saturday and remain closed until conditions warrant re-opening.

OAHU

Forestry and Wildlife – Oahu forest areas and trails will remain open on Friday, and on Saturday also, unless weather conditions warrant closing.

State Parks – Oahu parks will remain open on Friday, and on Saturday also, unless weather conditions warrant closing. Due to storm staffing the gates to Makua beach will not be opened today and will remain closed for the weekend. Organizers of a 5-K run at Sand Island State Recreation Area scheduled for Sunday will be notified if the park will be closed.

KAUAI

Forestry and Wildlife — Kauai forest areas and trails will remain open on Friday, and on Saturday also, unless weather conditions warrant closing.

State Parks (and Kalalau trail) – No changes at this time. Storm conditions will be monitored and closures will be announced as required.

DLNR’s Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR) does not plan to close any state small boat harbors but is advising boaters to monitor VHF radio for Coast Guard information on port closures and other safety advisories. Large breaking waves and strong currents may impact harbor entrances and channels causing challenging boat handling.  The Coast Guard reminds recreational boaters to secure boats and boating equipment. Owners of large boats are urged to move their vessels to protected marinas where they are less likely to break free of their moorings or be otherwise damaged. It may be advisable for smaller boats to be pulled from the water and stored in a location not prone to high winds or flooding. Regardless of location, all loose items aboard vessels need to be secured or removed.

Tropical storm Darby is an evolving storm system whose track and intensity may be affected by various weather factors. People should heed weather reports and be ready in event of emergency situations, including power or water outages and flooded or blocked roads.

DLNR also urges people to follow instructions of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HEMA) and County Civil Defense agencies to prepare for arrival of tropical storm Darby, with forecasts of heavy rain, lightning strikes, flooding, strong winds, large surf and coastal surge in Hawaii as early as Friday. A high surf advisory was in effect for Maui and Hawaii island from 6 p.m. Thursday evening to 6 a.m. Friday. A high surf warning will be in effect for east-facing shores of Maui and Hawaii island from 6 a.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Sunday.

Visitors to Hawaii should heed all warnings from lifeguards and public health and safety officials. Although weather conditions may appear favorable, rip tides and high surf often impact beaches far in advance of the actual storm. Even the best swimmers can fall victim to strong storm-generated waves and currents. Swimmers are urged to stay clear of beaches and out of the water until local officials say the water is safe. Near shore waters may become contaminated due to runoff up to several days following a storm.

Civil Defense Update on Tropical Storm Darby – County Announces Closures

This is a Tropical Storm Darby update for Friday July 22nd at 6:00 PM.

Darby 722 633

The National Weather Service has issued a Tropical Storm Warning for Hawaii County. A tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected in Hawaii County within 36 hours. A high surf warning for east facing shores is also in effect.

As of 5 PM today, Tropical Storm Darby is located about 205 miles east-southeast of Hilo moving to the west at 12 miles per hour.  Maximum sustained winds are 60 miles per hour with higher gusts.

The public is advised to be storm ready. Heavy rains are expected to begin affecting the Big Island tonight. Residents are urged to complete storm preparations before nightfall, and stay off the road if at all possible.

In anticipation of possible damage to public and private property, an emergency proclamation was signed by Mayor Kenoi at noon today.

Should power be lost or access be blocked – ensure you have prescription medications, ice, water, oxygen, backup power and fuel if needed.

To keep everyone safe as Tropical Storm Darby approaches, all camping and pavilion reservations at County and State parks have been cancelled. Lava viewing and swimming pools are closed through Sunday. All State and County park facilities and remote areas of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park are closed until further notice.

Hele-On Bus service will be suspended Saturday until further notice. Resumption of service will depend on road and weather conditions. Solid Waste Transfer Stations and Landfills will also be closed Saturday.

Umauma Bridge on Highway 19 will be closed starting at midnight with a detour through Old Mamalahoa Highway.

If possible and safe, shelter in place or with family and friends. Otherwise, the following pet-friendly emergency shelters are open: Waiakea High, Kalanianaole Elementary, Keaau High, Pahoa High, Honokaa High and Intermediate, Kealakehe High, Konawaena High and Ka’u High. Other shelters that are not able to accommodate pets are open at Hilo High, Laupahoehoe Community Charter School, Mountain View Elementary, Waikoloa Elementary, and Kohala High and Elementary. Bring your own bedding, food, water, medicines and any personal items you may need.

Monitor your local radio broadcasts for information updates and go to hawaiicounty.gov for the details of this message.

~Hawaii County Civil Defense.

Tropical Storm Darby Update: Tropical Storm Strength Through the Weekend

High clouds have been streaming toward the northeast which indicates the cyclone is beginning to feel an approaching upper level trough. One of the later passes through Darby by the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron’s WC-130J helped confirm the center position of the system toward the end of the morning mission though the aircraft had to fly lower to find it. Based on the morning recon mission and the maintenance of deep convection, the initial intensity has been held at 50 kt. Note that this is higher than the subjective Dvorak estimates of 45 kt from PHFO and SAB, and 30 kt from JTWC. The next aircraft mission into Darby is scheduled for this evening.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Darby is estimated to be moving at 280/11 kt to the south of a ridge. This ridge is forecast to weaken due to a low pressure system digging southward to the north of cyclone. This weakness is expected to decrease Darby’s forward motion over the next day, and increase the amount of vertical shear affecting the system this weekend.

The trusted dynamical models have remained largely consistent today, bringing Darby over the Big Island on Saturday. Thus, the current forecast has been nudged southward closer to the dynamical consensus with a landfall on the Big Island, followed by a path over Maui County and near Oahu. The latter part of this path assumes that Darby survives its impact on the Big Island which is not a certainty.

ProbabilityThe intensity forecast rationale remains the same since the last package. The main factors affecting the intensity forecast include marginal sea surface temperatures, the amount and timing of vertical wind shear, and the effects of any potential interactions with the Hawaiian Islands.

Sea surface temperatures will remain marginal near 26.5C over the next couple of days but vertical shear is expected to increase as the previously mentioned upper level trough digs farther south. This shear increase is not expected to become strong until later this weekend.

The forecast calls for only slow weakening with Darby maintaining tropical storm strength through the weekend. This is consistent with the previous package but slightly lower than the intensity consensus. Interactions with the Big Island may cause significant disruptions to Darby so the intensity forecast confidence is not high at this time.

Coast Guard Rescues 8 From Burning Ship Offshore Oahu

The Coast Guard rescued eight crewmembers from a burning ship two miles offshore Oahu, Thursday.

Lady Anna

Eight people are safe after a rescue and assist team from USCGC Galveston Island (WPB-1349) fought and extinguished an engineroom fire aboard commercial fishing vessel Lady Anna two miles south of Honolulu Harbor.

“We were in the right place at the right time,” said Lt. Ryan Ball, commanding officer of USCGC Galveston Island. “This was a combined effort between the Galveston Island crew, the watchstanders at Sector Honolulu and rescue boat crews from Station Honolulu and Honolulu Fire Department. I’m happy that we were able to help and I’m proud of my crew for their quick and effective response in putting out the fire. The reason why we do training is to ensure that in an emergency situation such as this, we can perform safely and effectively.”

Watchstanders at Sector Honolulu Command Center overheard a transmission on VHF channel 16 at 4:30 p.m. regarding a fire aboard the 78-foot fishing vessel Lady Anna. Watchstanders established communication with the vessel, directed the launch of a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Station Honolulu and diverted the nearby Galveston Island crew to assist.

Once on scene, the Galveston Island crew reported black smoke billowing from the engineroom. The RB-M crew arrived on scene and safely disembarked the crew from the fishing vessel. The Galveston Island Rescue and Assist Team then boarded the Lady Anna to investigate the smoke. When approaching the engineroom, the team identified flames coming from the generator and utilized a P-6 pump to successfully extinguish the fire.

International crewmembers from the Lady Anna were safely transferred by the RB-M crew to the commercial fishing vessel Sapphire III due to lack of clearance and two U.S. crewmembers were safely transferred to Pier 38. No injuries were reported.

The Lady Anna was towed in to Pier 17 by a water taxi after a marine surveyor deemed the vessel seaworthy and not in danger of taking on water or having a fire re-flash.

Coast Guard Sector Honolulu personnel will investigate the cause of the fire in the coming days and address any repairs necessary for the Lady Anna to resume normal operations. Lady Anna is homeported in Honolulu.

Big Island Police Identify Man Killed in Police Shooting

The man who died Thursday afternoon following an officer-involved shooting has been identified as 36-year-old BJ Medeiros of Keaʻau.

An autopsy conducted Friday determined that he died from a gunshot wound to his torso.

In response to a 1:20 p.m. call Thursday reporting a man possibly armed with a weapon, Puna District officers combed the Hawaiian Paradise Park subdivision and located him on Beach Road off Kaloli Drive seated in a pickup truck.
Kaloli Beach
Two officers approached the vehicle. They made contact with the man and a struggle ensued. During the struggle, the man in the truck pointed a handgun at one of the officers. In response, that officer fired his duty weapon, fatally injuring the gunman.

The officer who fired his weapon has been with the Hawaiʻi Police Department for nine years. The other officer, who has five years’ experience, was taken to Hilo Medical Center, where he was treated for minor injuries and then released.

No officers were injured by gunfire.

As is standard practice in any police-involved shooting, the Police Department’s Area I Criminal Investigations Section is conducting a criminal investigation into the shooting and the Office of Professional Standards is conducting an administrative investigation.

Police ask anyone who witnessed the incident to contact Detective Tuckloy Aurello at 961-2385.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island wide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Coast Guard Urges Public in Hawaii to Prepare for Heavy Weather Ahead of Darby

The Coast Guard is urging the public to prepare for the onset of heavy weather expected to impact the Hawaiian Islands, Friday.

boaters manual

Tropical Storm Darby is expected to generate sustained winds of 60 mph, storm surge and surf up to 20 feet along east-facing shores throughout the Main Hawaiian Islands.

Mariners and beachgoers should monitor the progress and strength of the storm through newspapers, the internet and local television, radio stations and official accounts on social media. Boaters can monitor the progress of the storm on VHF channel 16. Small craft advisories and warnings are also broadcast on VHF channel 16.

The Coast Guard is working closely with local and state first responder agencies. Once the storm begins to impact the islands, emergency responders may not be able to assist those in danger. The public is urged to heed all evacuation orders. Mariners should seek safe harbor and shelter.

Additionally, mariners should secure their boats and boating equipment. Owners of large boats are urged to move their vessels to protected marinas where they will be less likely to break free of their moorings or to be otherwise damaged. Smaller boats should be pulled from the water and stored in a place that is not prone to flooding and is protected for high winds. Regardless of location, all loose items aboard vessels should be secured or removed.

Visitors to Hawaii should heed all warnings from lifeguards and public health and safety officials. Although weather conditions may appear favorable, rip tides and high surf may impact beaches far in advance of the actual storm. Even the best swimmers can fall victim to strong storm-generated waves and currents. Swimmers are urged to stay clear of beaches until local officials say the water is safe. Near-shore waters may become contaminated due to runoff up to several days following a storm.

A PDF version of the Hawai’i Boater’s Hurricane and Tsunami Safety Manual can be found at the following link: http://seagrant.noaa.gov/SeaGrantSearch/TabId/526/ArtMID/3568/ArticleID/354/Hawai%e2%80%98i-Boater%e2%80%99s-Hurricane-and-Tsunami-Safety-Manual.aspx.

For more information on hurricane preparedness, visit the National Hurricane Center’s Web page at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/.