Central Pacific Hurricane Center explains a tropical storm’s potential impacts to Hawaii

Olivia is expected to weaken to a tropical storm before it reaches Hawaii.

Wind speeds are expected to range from 70 to 60 mph as Olivia passes over the islands.

Even though Olivia will no longer be a hurricane, the Central Pacific Hurricane Center says it is important to not focus on the exact forecast track and intensity when planning for Olivia.

All islands should continue preparing for the likelihood of direct impacts from this system this week.

Meteorologist Eric Lau say those impacts could include intense flooding, rainfall, damaging winds, large and dangerous surf, and storm surge.

“Weaker structures across the state, termite-damaged structures could be vulnerable to these types of winds,” he said. “Also heavy rainfall. We can expect 10 to 15 inches of rain anywhere across the state, so flooding conditions are also a possibility, landslides, mudslides. Especially with what happened with Hurricane Lane, Big Island, Maui County, they’ve been flooded. Conditions are saturated enough that any flooding could really take a toll on those islands.”

Regardless of the exact track and intensity that Olivia takes as it approaches the islands, significant effects often extend far from the center.

In particular, the mountainous terrain of Hawaii can produce localized areas of strongly enhanced winds and rainfall, even well away from the tropical cyclone center.

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