HONOLULU (KHON2) — When rain, wind, storm surges and more threatened the islands, forecasters will soon have the option to use NOAA’s newest weather satellite.

“Things like that to give us the resources we need to assess the strength of the hurricane and be able to what sort of compare that to like model to the weather model guidance,” said Liam Tsamous, National Weather Service Honolulu meteorologist.

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The new technology is positioned to watch over Hawaii and the Pacific Ocean. It’ll provide forecasters with higher resolution images, covers more of the Pacific and can pick up details from fires, volcanic eruptions and hurricane intensity. The satellite launched in March and is expected to be fully operational next year. Meteorologists say it’s much needed.

“Satellites are a big resource or a big thing that we use when we’re tracking the storms, considering we’re out in the middle of the ocean and there’s not a lot of observations that are out there,” Tsamous said.

On the ground, the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency says, with a third consecutive lower than average hurricane season forecasted, they’re shaking off the rust as Hurricane Darby approaches the state.

“We tested that this morning and brought on about 60 or 70 of our partners around the state and went through a quick walkthrough of what one of those meetings would typically be like,” said Adam Weintraub, Hawaii Emergency Management Agency Communications Director.

A real briefing will be held later this week once Darby gets closer to the islands. Officials will discuss the storm outlook, concerns and storm path.

Meanwhile, the National Weather Service is beefing up it’s public outreach.

“We’re having more discussions and interactions with the public through social media. It’s a possibility that we could get a big storm and so just always have the public prepared for what is possible,” said Tsamous.

Officials say besides always having a plan ready, it’s just as important to stay connected in the coming days.

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“Being prepared is better than being sorry and it only takes one to really cause some serious damage here. So we don’t want people to be alarmed, but we do want them to be prepared,” said Weintraub.