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Felicia Expected to Hit Hawaiian Islands Today

19.3N 150.4W

August 11th, 2009 Category: Tropical Storms

Tropical Storm Felicia - August 11th, 2009

Tropical Storm Felicia - August 11th, 2009

Track of Felicia - August 11th, 2009 © Univ. of Wisconsin

Track of Felicia

The center of Felicia, which has weakened from hurricane to tropical storm status, is located about 160 miles east-northeast of Hilo, Hawaii and about 315 miles east of Honolulu, Hawaii. The system is moving toward the west near 10 mph and this motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days.

A tropical storm watch remains in effect for Oahu and for all of Maui county, which includes the islands of Maui, Kahoolawe, Lanai and Molokai.

A large swell generated by Felicia has already reached the main Hawaiian islands. This swell will build across the state through Tuesday, and on this track, the center of Felicia is expected to reach the Hawaiian islands on Tuesday with rainbands in advance of the center reaching the islands overnight. Regardless of the intensity when it reaches the islands, local heavy rainfall may occur and flash flooding remains a possibility.

Maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph with higher gusts. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 140 miles from the center. Estimated minimum central pressure is 1007 mb (29.74 inches). Felicia is expected to weaken over the next 48 hours.

Hurricane Felicia continues moving toward the Hawaiian Islands

19.8N 155.6W

August 9th, 2009 Category: Tropical Storms

Hurricane Felicia - August 8th, 2009

Hurricane Felicia - August 8th, 2009

Enhanced image

Enhanced image

Track of Felicia - August 8th, 2009 © Univ. of Wisconsin

Track of Felicia

Hurricane Felicia continues moving west toward the Hawaiian islands. At 1100pm HST the center of Hurricane Felicia was located about 675 miles East of Hilo Hawaii near 20.3°N 144.7°W.

The system is moving West or 280 degrees at 15 mph. Maximum sustained winds are near 80 mph. The hurricane is currently having no direct effect on weather around the Hawaiian islands.

Hurricane Felicia is forecast to weaken and continue west toward Maui county and the Big Island over the next few days. The forecast track brings Felicia near or over those islands on Monday. Although the system is expected to weaken to a tropical storm as it reaches the islands it will still be capable of producing torrential flooding rains very high surf and damaging winds.

It is too early to provide exact values for wind rainfall and surf at specific locations. People under the watch should begin preparing now. Listen for possible warnings and be ready to evacuate if necessary. Heed the advice of local officials.

In the vicinity of the state, broken areas of cumulus and stratocumulus clouds, moving west at 15 mph, have increased over the windward waters north and east of the main Hawaiian islands in the last six hours. These clouds become overcast about 150 miles east of Hilo and continue towards the western edge of hurricane Felicia.

Animations show isolated light showers over windward waters and along the cloud plumes over water to the west of the islands. Over land, cloud cover is sparse over Kauai, Oahu, Molokai and Lanai and is mainly concentrated over windward and Mauka areas.

Maui Nui, Hawaiian Islands

February 21st, 2009 Category: Volcanoes

Maui, Hawaiian Islands - February 18th, 2009

Maui, Hawaiian Islands - February 18th, 2009

The islands of Maui (right), Molokai (left), Lanai (below Molokai) and Kahoolawe (below Maui) are part of the Hawaiian Island Chain. Together, the four islands are known as Maui Nui.

Maui  is the second-largest of the Hawaiian Islands at 727.2 square miles (1883.5 km2). Maui’s wide variety of landscapes have resulted from a unique combination of geology, topography, and climate.

Maui is a “volcanic doublet”, formed from two shield volcanoes that overlapped one another to form an isthmus between them.

The older, western volcano has been eroded considerably and is cut by numerous drainages, forming the peaks of the West Maui Mountains. Puʻu Kukui is the highest of the peaks at 5,788 feet (1,764 m).

The larger, younger volcano to the east, Haleakalā, rises to more than 10,000 feet (3,000 m) above sea level, but measures 5 miles (8.0 km) from seafloor to summit.

Kahoolawe, located 7 miles (11.2 km) southwest of Maui, is 11 miles (18 km) long by 6 miles (9.7 km) across. With a total area is 44.6 square miles (115.5 km2), it is the smallest of the 8 main Hawaiian Islands.

The highest point is the crater of Lua Makika at the summit of Puʻu Moaulanui, which is 1,477 feet (450 m) above sea level.

The island is relatively dry because the low elevation fails to generate much orographic precipitation from the northeastern trade winds and it is located in the rain shadow of Maui’s 10,023 feet (3,055 m) high East Maui Volcano (Haleakalā).

Molokai is the fifth largest of the main Hawaiian Islands. It is 38 by 10 miles (61 by 16 km) in size with a land area of 260.0 square miles (673.4 km²).

Molokai is built from two distinct volcanoes known as East Molokai and the much smaller West Molokai. The highest point is Kamakou on East Molokai, at 4,970 feet (1,510 m).

Lanai, south of Molokai, is the sixth-largest of the Hawaiian Islands, with a land area of 140.5 square miles (364 km²). The island is somewhat comma-shaped, with a width of 18 miles (29 km) in the longest direction.