Although Hurricane Dora is passing well to the sough of the Big Island, it will still be able to help pack a good punch with strong winds over Hawaii with high pressure building to the north at the same time. It will be windy, especially Tuesday morning through the afternoon, but it will also be dry with humidity levels down to around 40%. This can be a dangerous combination to start and quickly spread wildfires.
As of 5 a.m. HST Monday morning Hurricane Dora was a low-end category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of 130 mph. Dora is expected to weaken slightly over the next few days but remain a category 3 major hurricane while it passes south of Hawaii.
This will primarily be a high wind event for Hawaii with the winds increasing through Monday, peaking Tuesday around late morning into the afternoon, then lowering into Wednesday morning. Monday afternoon we will have sustained winds of 20 mph to 30 mph with gusts up to 40-45 mph. In the areas that usually see higher winds such as Kahului and northern portions of Hawaii Island, winds look to be 30-40 with higher gusts. These windy conditions will peak Tuesday afternoon then gradually decrease Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. The peak winds can be 30-40 mph with 65 mph gusts. This wind event should be over by Wednesday afternoon, then on Thursday we get right back to the normal summer weather we have been seeing over the least few weeks with breezy east-northeast trade winds and warm highs in the upper 80s.
On top of the windy conditions, we will have relatively dry conditions with the relative humidity hovering around 40%-45%. These dry conditions in combination with the high winds results in red flag conditions. That means there will be a high risk of wildfires starting and spreading. Be very careful over the next few days.
The Central Pacific Hurricane Center is now handling the forecasting for Hurricane Dora. They took over the forecasting duties Sunday morning. They seem to have a good handle on the forecast while Dora is in the Central Pacific basin. The track is now west to WSW at 23 mph, which is relatively fast for tropical cyclones. Hurricane Dora is expected to start to veer northwest, but that should not happen until Dora is well west of Hawaii.
There are several weather advisories including a High Wind Warning, a Red Flag Warning, a High Wind Advisory, a High Surf Advisory, a Gale Warning and a Small Craft Advisory. To see teh details, visit the KHON2.com weather alerts page.
Hawaii residents should monitor this storm closely through Wednesday morning and always be prepared.