Tropical Storm Madeline Weakening – All County & State Services Restored Tomorrow

Tropical Storm Madeline is weakening although a Tropical Storm Warning remains in effect.

Madeline Satelite
Tomorrow, September 1st all County and State facilities/offices/services will be restored including bus service starting with the 3:15 AM bus.

Transfer stations open on a regular schedule.  County Parks programs will open pending damage assessment reports tomorrow morning.

As of this posting…. Hawaii Public Schools and most private schools will remain closed tomorrow.

Hawaii Hepatitis A Outbreak Climbs to 241 Cases

Since the last update, Hawaii Department of Health has identified 13 new cases of hepatitis A.  All cases have been in adults, 64 have required hospitalization.

hepatitis header

Findings of the investigation suggest that the source of the outbreak is focused on Oahu. Ten (10) individuals are residents of the islands of Hawaii, Kauai, or Maui, and four visitors have returned to the mainland.


Onset of illness has ranged between 6/12/16 – 8/25/16.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Now Closed Until Further Notice

To ensure the safety of visitors and employees, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park will close at noon today until it is determined safe to reopen.

NPS Photo

NPS Photo

Park staff and volunteers not directly involved in storm efforts were directed to stay home. Guests at Kīlauea Military Camp and Volcano House will shelter in place, or if necessary, be directed to the nearest shelter.

Rangers will assess impacts from Hurricane Madeline at 8 a.m. Thursday. The strongest winds are predicted to hit the park between noon and 2 p.m. Wednesday. Forecasters predict the park could see up to 10 inches of rain, maximum winds of 45 mph up to 75 mph (depending on the storm’s track), and dangerously high surf.

“The closure will continue until we have a chance to assess the impact to the park and mitigate any damage. With Hurricane Lester right on the heels of Madeline, and still a Category 4 hurricane, we could end up continuing the closure for a few days until it’s safe to reopen,” said Chief Ranger John Broward.

Rangers will determine by Friday if the Kahuku Unit, open only on Saturdays and Sundays, will remain closed over the weekend.

Updates will be posted to the park’s website, and its official social media sites.

Hawaii International AgriTourism Symposium

Hawai‘i AgriTourism Association (HATA) will host the state’s first Hawai‘i International AgriTourism Symposium on October 15, 2016 at the College of Hawaiian Language: Ka Haka ‘Ulu O Ke‘elikōlani, in Hilo. Industry experts from Hawai‘i, New Zealand and Japan will share their forecasts, trends and tips on how they compete on a global stage. They will share what visitors from their regions are looking to experience in AgriTourism, as well as perspectives on how they have diversified agricultural operations in innovative ways to increase profitability, reduce risk, and protect rural communities.

agritourism symposium

This global symposium aims to help people get on trend with the connections between agriculture and travel/tourism. The industry is an “economic multiplier” that impacts restaurants, lodging, health, and education. For every dollar spent at an AgriTourism farm, an additional $2.25 is spent within the community in food, fuel, and retail.  The ripple effect continues with home based and small businesses that create value add products from the farm crop such as jams, baked goods, and beauty or health products.

As a popular and highly marketable segment of Hawai‘i’s $10-billion dollar visitor industry, AgriTourism is poised to take off in the next decade. It’s not only a viable part of the economy; it’s also an important way to preserve our island lifestyles and culture.

AgriTourism offers farmers and small businesses an incredible opportunity to expand their business using creative approaches, and innovative partnerships. This symposium will show how the state’s largest economic industries, tourism and agriculture, merge to create economic diversity and innovation that visitors will pay for.

Farmers who include an AgriTourism component in their marketing plan can see substantial financial benefits. AgriTourism can provide the difference between a profitable and an unprofitable farming operation, and between a sustainable and an unsustainable agricultural region. With the potential of this niche market expanding at such a fast pace, there has never been a better time to learn more about AgriTourism.

Online Registration for Hawai‘i’s International AgriTourism Symposium is open at  Vendors who wish to sell products at the Hawai‘i Marketplace may also register online as well.  For more information, please contact Lani Weigert,  Space is limited, early registration encouraged.

Hawaii State Insurance Commissioner Advises Residents to Review Insurance Policies

In preparation for Hurricanes Madeline and Lester, state Insurance Commissioner Gordon Ito advises residents to review their homeowner’s, hurricane, and flood insurance policies.


“With back-to-back hurricanes approaching Hawaii, reviewing your insurance policy should be part of your readiness plans,” said Ito. “Policyholders should know what type of insurance they have, what is covered under each policy, and the proper steps to take both pre- and post-storm.”

The Insurance Division also offers the following disaster preparedness tips:

  • Secure property to prevent and limit damage. Minimize the possibility of damage as much as possible to ensure the safety of yourself and your family.
  • Take an inventory of your property and belongings. Policyholders can take pictures, videos or use the free MyHome mobile app released by the National Association of Insurance Commissions (NAIC). This step can help save time in the event that a homeowner needs to file a claim, and will improve their chances of fully recovering what their policy covers.
  • Have contact information for your agent or insurer handy. Ask questions about your policy, coverage, the claim process, and identify who to contact to file a claim.
  • Review your deductible levels. This is the amount of money a policyholder will be responsible for if a claim is filed. Check with your agent or insurer to see if the claim payout is reduced by the deductible rather than paying upfront.
  • Talk with your insurer to find out the specific language that triggers a hurricane policy. Most hurricane insurance policies are triggered once a hurricane “watch” or “warning” is issued by the Central Pacific Hurricane Center of the National Weather Service, and coverage ends 72-hours after the hurricane watch or warning has been cancelled.

For more hurricane preparedness tips and information on filing a claim post-event, visit

The Hawaii Insurance Division oversees the Hawaii insurance industry; issues licenses; examines the fiscal condition of Hawaii-based companies; reviews rate and policy filings; and investigates insurance related complaints.

Hurricane Lester May Move into the Central Pacific Basin this Afternoon

At 200 PM PDT (2100 UTC), the eye of Hurricane Lester was located near latitude 18.0 North, longitude 139.9 West.

LesterLester is moving toward the west near 13 mph (20 km/h), and this motion is expected to continue for the next 24 hours.  A turn toward the west-northwest is forecast on Thursday.  On the forecast track, Lester will move into the central Pacific basin this afternoon.

Maximum sustained winds are near 130 mph (215 km/h) with higher gusts.  Lester is a category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.  Some weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles (55 km) from the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 90 miles (150 km).

The estimated minimum central pressure is 954 mb (28.17 inches).

Hurricane Warning Discontinued for Hawaii County

The Hurricane Warning has been discontinued for Hawaii County. A Tropical Storm Warning is now in effect for Hawaii County.

madeline15At 1100 AM HST (2100 UTC), the center of Hurricane Madeline was located near latitude 18.6 North, longitude 154.2 West. Madeline is moving toward the west near 13 mph (20 km/h). This general motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days.

Maximum sustained winds are near 75 mph (120 km/h) with higher gusts.  Steady weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 10 miles (20 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles (205 km). During the past couple of hours, tropical storm force winds of 43 mph gusting to 51 mph have been reported at Kamuela Airport in Hawaii County.

The estimated minimum central pressure is 991 mb (29.27 inches).

Big Island Amateur Radio Emergency Service Districts Activate to Support Possible Hurricane Response in Hawaii

ARRL Pacific Section Emergency Coordinator Clement Jung, KH7HO, has announced the activation of all four Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) districts on the Big Island of Hawaii, to support each other and served agencies as two hurricanes — Madeline and Lester — threaten. A hurricane watch remains in effect for Hawaii County.

amateur radioA SKYWARN net activated on August 31 as Hurricane Madeline approached the Big Island, and KH6SW went on the air from the National Weather Service (NWS) Honolulu Forecast Office on HF, VHF, and UHF. A second SKYWARN activation for Hurricane Lester will begin on September 2 at 10 PM (0800 UTC on September 3), continuing until Monday, September 5 at noon (2200 UTC).

As of 1200 UTC, Madeline, now a category 1 storm, was located about 200 miles east of Hilo and 410 miles east-southeast of Honolulu, with maximum sustained winds near 90 MPH. The storm is moving to the west at 12 MPH.

As of 0900 UTC, Hurricane Lester, a much stronger category 4 storm, was some 1160 miles east of Hilo, with maximum sustained winds of 140 MPH and moving to the west at 12 MPH. NOAA has advised interests in Hawaii to monitor Lester’s progress.

ARES teams were set to initiate local repeater nets, holding 146.52 MHz simplex in reserve in case repeaters go down. Plans call for using HF (7.180 and 3.975 MHz) to relay traffic via Auxiliary Communications Service (ACS) nets to the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency Emergency Operations Center (EOC). SKYWARN traffic will use Fldigi MT63 1KL or voice on 7.080 MHz (USB), with 3.888 MHz (LSB) as an alternate frequency, and 7.095 MHz available to support informal and tactical traffic.

Jung said that if Hawaii Emergency Management Agency RACES is activated, it will monitor 7.088 MHz (LSB) for voice and Fldigi MT63-1KL. Until then, SKYWARN will be the statewide HF net control station on 7.080 MHz (USB) for voice and Fldigi.

Hawaii Gov David Ige has declared a state of emergency in the state, with the Big Island under a hurricane warning for Madeline. The National Weather Service has indicated that hurricane conditions could occur on the Big Island within the next 24 hours. Public schools in Hawaii have been closed, and the governor was urging residents of the Big Island to take steps to protect people and property. A dozen schools have been designated to serve as emergency evacuation shelters.

In addition to HF, KH6SW will operate on these repeaters:

  • 146.660 (EARC, Windward Oahu)
  • 146.760 (DEM RACES, Peackcock Flat, North Shore Oahu)
  • 146.800 (EARC, Manakapu, Oahu)
  • 146.880 (DEM RACES, Diamond Head)
  • 146.980 (DEM RACES, Downtown Honolulu)
  • 147.060 (State RACES, Diamond Head)
  • 444.350 (State RACES, Diamond Head)

Satellites Show Hurricane Madeline Weakening Upon Approach to Hawaii

This animation of NOAA's GOES-West satellite imagery from Aug. 29 to Aug. 31 shows the movement of Hurricane Madeline approaching Hawaii in the Central Pacific Ocean and Hurricane Lester in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. TRT: 00:34 Credits: NASA/NOAA GOES Project

This animation of NOAA’s GOES-West satellite imagery from Aug. 29 to Aug. 31 shows the movement of Hurricane Madeline approaching Hawaii in the Central Pacific Ocean and Hurricane Lester in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. TRT: 00:34
Credits: NASA/NOAA GOES Project

GOES Video of Madeline’s Approach to Hawaii

Hurricane Madeline was a powerful Category 4 storm that has now weakened to a Category 1 storm as it nears the Big Island of Hawaii. NOAA’s GOES-East satellite has been continuously capturing imagery of the storm that showed the structure has been weakening. Two NASA satellites confirmed that the storm was weakening.

Visible and infrared imagery from NOAA’s GOES-West satellite was compiled and made into an animation showing the progression and strengthening then weakening of Madeline between Aug. 29 and 31. The animation was created at the NASA/NOAA GOES Project at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

At 7:20 a.m. EDT (1120 UTC) Infrared data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite showed cloud tops northeast of the center as cold as minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 degrees Celsius). Cold cloud tops indicate the area of strongest storms that stretch highest into the troposphere. The higher they are, the colder the air temperature.

At 11 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC) on Aug. 31, Forecaster Birchard of NOAA’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center (CPHC) noted “After a period of rapid intensification that ended early Tuesday (Aug. 30), Madeline has been rapidly weakening since Tuesday afternoon, primarily due to increased vertical wind shear. Latest satellite images show that the cyclone’s structure has degraded significantly, with the center estimated to be on the southwest side of the cold cloud tops.”

In imagery from NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite taken at 7:29 a.m. EDT (1129 UTC) there was an indication that the low-level center of Madeline was becoming partially exposed to outside winds, and when NASA-JAXA’s Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core satellite passed overhead around the same time, GPM data confirmed the exposed center.

At 2 p.m. EDT (8 a.m. HST), NOAA’s CPHC noted that a Hurricane Warning is in effect for Hawaii County, and a Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Maui County including the islands of Maui, Molokai, Lanai and Kahoolawe.

At that time the center of Hurricane Madeline was located near 18.7 degrees north latitude and 153.6 degrees west longitude. That’s about 120 miles (195 km) east-southeast of Hilo, Hawaii. Madeline is moving toward the west near 12 mph (19 kph) and this general motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days. Maximum sustained winds are near 75 mph (120 kph) with higher gusts. Steady weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and Madeline is forecast to weaken to a tropical storm later today or tonight. The estimated minimum central pressure is 990 millibars.

NOAA’s CPHC noted the following forecast for winds, surf, rain and storm surge:

  • Hurricane conditions are expected to develop over portions of Hawaii County later today and continue into early Thursday. Tropical storm conditions are expected to develop over Maui County later today and tonight, especially over mountains and where winds blow downslope from higher terrain.
  • Swells generated by Madeline are expected to increase across

Hawaiian waters today, possibly becoming damaging along east facing shores of Hawaii County and eastern portions of the Island of Maui today and tonight.

  • Madeline is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 5 to 10 inches, with isolated maximum amounts near 15 inches, across Hawaii County, especially over windward portions. Total rainfall accumulations of 1 to 3 inches, with isolated maximum amounts up to 4 inches, can be expected in the islands of Maui County. This rainfall may lead to dangerous flash floods and mudslides.
  • Depending on the track of Madeline, the combination of storm surge and tides could cause normally dry areas near the coast to become flooded. The water could reach 1 to 3 feet above ground if peak surge were to coincide with high tide. The surge would be accompanied by large damaging surf and can vary over short distances.