Douglas On Track to Approach Hawaiian Islands Near Hurricane Force
Despite its gradual decrease to a Category 3 hurricane, Douglas is still on track to impact the eastern end of the Hawaiian Island chain at hurricane force starting Saturday night.
The hurricane is now 895 miles from Hilo on the Big Island. Maximum sustained winds are near 120 mph with higher gusts. Douglas is expected to gradually weaken today through the weekend.
“However, Douglas is still forecast to be near hurricane strength as it approaches the eastern end of the Hawaiian Island chain late Saturday night or Sunday,” according to the 5a.m. report from the National Hurricane Center.
Douglas is moving toward the west-northwest near 18 mph. This motion is expected to continue for the next few days with a gradual decrease in forward speed and a slight turn toward the west.
On the forecast track, Douglas will approach the eastern end of the Hawaiian Island chain late Saturday night or Sunday. While there are no coastal watches or warnings in effect at this time, the National Hurricane Center indicates watches will likely be required later today for portions of the island chain.
Strong winds associated with Douglas are expected to affect portions of the Hawaiian Islands as early as late Saturday night or Sunday, through the day Monday. Tropical Storm or Hurricane Watches will likely be required for portions of the state later today.
Large swells generated by Douglas are expected to begin affecting portions of the Hawaiian Islands on Saturday. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.
Additionally, heavy rainfall associated with Douglas is expected to affect portions of the Hawaiian Islands from late Saturday night through Monday. Total rain accumulations of six to 10 inches with isolated maximum totals of 15 inches will be possible, especially
across elevated terrain. This rain may result in life-threatening flash flooding and land slides, as well as rapid water level rises on small streams.