Hurricane Douglas
Visible satellite image of Hurricane Douglas (top left) northwest of Hawaii at 1600Z (8 a.m. Hawaii Standard Time) on Monday, July 27, 2020. (Image credit: RAMMB/CIRA/Colorado State University)

Hurricane Douglas stayed just far enough north of Hawaii’s main islands to spare them from major impacts, but the storm’s place in hurricane history is secure. Douglas is the first hurricane in decades of satellite monitoring to parallel the full length of the islands from Maui to Kauai while staying within striking distance of them. In fact, Douglas’s center passed within 50 miles of several islands.

Fortunately, Douglas was tracking to the north rather than to the south of the islands. That track kept Hawaii on the storm’s weaker left-hand side; even the hurricane’s southern eyewall stayed just offshore. Winds gusted to no more than 33 mph at Lihue and 29 mph at Honolulu. Douglas’s brisk motion and its offshore track also helped keep rainfall amounts modest by hurricane standards. A personal weather station at Laie, on the eastern shore of Oahu, reported 2.37 inches of rain on Monday, and Kapahi, on the eastern shore of Kauai, reported 1.49 inches.

Radar image
Radar image of Hurricane Douglas at 0334Z Monday, July 27, 2020 (5:38 p.m. Sunday Hawaii Standard Time), as the storm was passing north of Oahu. (Image credit: National Weather Service via Mark Nissenbaum/Florida State University)

A hurricane warning remained in effect Monday for parts of the string of atolls and small islands that make up the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, which extends hundreds of miles to the northwest of Hawaii’s main islands. At 8 am HST, Douglas remained a Category 1 hurricane with top sustained winds of 90 mph, located about 130 miles northwest of Lihue and chugging west-northwest at 17 mph.

Several hurricanes have been recorded across the marine national monument. The most recent and most notable is Walaka, which moved north through the area in early October 2018. After peaking as a Category 5 storm well southwest of Hawaii, Walaka pushed a powerful storm surge across East Island in the French Frigate Shoals section of the national monument. Walaka’s surge destroyed the 11-acre island that had been a key habitat for Hawaii’s green sea turtles.

Douglas’s survival as a hurricane is in part brought about by above-average sea surface temperatures for this time of year across the Hawaii region (see image below). Tropical cyclones typically rely on sea surface temperatures of at least 79 degrees Fahrenheit (26°C) to provide the heat needed to sustain their core of showers and thunderstorms. Traditionally, sea surface temperatures around Hawaii seldom met this informal threshold, but recent oceanic warming has pushed them above it more often, as was the case with Douglas. Continued warming from human-produced greenhouse gases is expected to make the waters around and southeast of Hawaii increasingly conducive to hurricanes.

Sea surfact temperatures
Sea surface temperatures (SST) in the central North Pacific Ocean on July 27, 2020 (top, in degrees Celsius) and departure from average SST for this time of year (bottom). (Image credit: Tropical Tidbits)

7/26 Original Post: Douglas to affect much of Hawaii Sunday night as hurricane or strong tropical storm

Satellite view of Hurricane Douglas
Infrared satellite image of Hurricane Douglas just northeast of Hawaii at 1655Z (7:55 am Hawaii Standard Time) Sunday, July 26, 2020. (Image credit: tropicaltidbits.com)

One of the most unusual hurricane threats in state history loomed on Sunday, July 26, as Hurricane Douglas raced toward Hawaii. Most hurricanes approaching from the east weaken dramatically or dissipate before they reach the islands, but Douglas may become one of the exceptions that breaks the rule.

At 5 a.m. Hawaii Standard Time (HST) Sunday, Douglas was a top-end Category 1 storm with sustained winds of 90 mph. Located about 145 miles east of Kahului, Douglas was charging west-northwest at roughly 18 mph. NOAA’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center predicted that Douglas would weaken only slightly on Sunday, maintaining hurricane strength (sustained winds of 75 mph or more) as it passes near or just north of the islands from Maui to Kauai between Sunday afternoon and early Monday.

Moderate to strong wind shear of 10 – 20 knots is tilting Douglas to the north with height, but hurricane-hunter flights confirmed that the storm was maintaining its overall integrity. Douglas will pass over progressively warmer waters on Sunday as it nears Hawaii, and that may help counteract the corrosive effects of wind shear.

There is high confidence in Douglas’s overall west-northwest track, and it should be at least a tropical storm throughout its trek near Hawaii, so at least some wind, rain, and surf impacts will be felt. The stronger side of a Northern Hemisphere hurricane is to the right of its direction of motion, so Douglas’s strongest winds will be on its north side, which will most likely dodge most or all of the islands. Hurricane-force sustained winds extend out only about 15 miles on Douglas’s south side.

The precise impacts on Hawaii will hinge largely on subtleties in Douglas’s track. It appears the hurricane may bend slightly westward this evening, and that may bring the worst impacts to Oahu and/or Kauai. Even if Douglas passes just to the north, widespread sustained winds of 40 to 60 mph and rains of 5 to 10 inches could affect any of the islands from Maui to Kauai, with heavier rains and stronger winds possible at higher elevations. These winds could bring down trees and power lines, especially where Douglas’s rains loosen the soil. Some locations could experience winds that are infrequent if not unprecedented. Douglas’s brisk motion should help reduce total rainfall, but flash flooding and mudslides are certainly possible wherever heavy rains strike.

Winds at most locations can be expected to swing from north to west to south as Douglas passes by, although mountains could lead to widely varying wind effects across small areas.

Hawaii historical hurricanes
All hurricanes and tropical storms on record that have passed near the Hawaiian Islands, represented here by a 400-mile-wide circle. The only hurricanes on record to make landfall in Hawaii are Dot (1959) and Iniki (1992), both of which struck Kauai. (Image credit: NOAA)

Douglas is a major outlier

Already, Douglas is traveling over oceanic territory just north of the Big Island and east of Maui where no hurricane has been observed in decades of satellite monitoring. The closest analog for strength among west-northwest tracking hurricanes, Lester (2016), passed about 130 miles northeast of Hawaii as a Category 1 storm. Douglas’s forecast track is most similar to that of Flossie (2013), which weakened to tropical depression status before passing just north of Kauai and Oahu.

A number of other systems have passed north of Hawaii as tropical storms or tropical depressions, as shown above. By far the strongest hurricanes to affect Hawaii are those approaching from warmer waters to the south. Category 5 Lane (2018) passed within about 150 miles of the Big Island while still a Category 3. Along with $250 million in damage, Lane dumped 58 inches (1473 mm) of rain on Kahūnā Falls in the Big Island – the second heaviest rainfall on record from a tropical cyclone in any U.S. state, behind the 60.58″ dumped by Hurricane Harvey in 2017 in Texas.

The only two hurricanes to make landfall in Hawaii are Category 1 Dot (1959) and Category 4 Iniki (1992), both of which struck Kauai from the south. The latter caused six deaths and more than $3 billion in damage. Just three other named systems are known to have struck Hawaii as tropical storms, all in the 2010s: Iselle (2014), Big Island; Darby (2016), Big Island; and Olivia (2018), Maui and Lanai.

Hurricane Douglas satellite image7/25 update: Hawaii braces for Hurricane Douglas

A study published in May in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found an increased frequency of tropical cyclones from 1980 to 2018 over a zone extending east and south from Hawaii – including the region that gave birth to Douglas – amid larger-scale trends that could be explained only by factoring in human-induced climate change. “We show for the first time that this observed geographic pattern cannot be explained only by natural variability,” lead author Hiroyuki Murakami said then in a NOAA news release.

For more local detail on the impacts expected from Douglas, see the point-and-click interface provided by the National Weather Service office in Honolulu.

For information on YCC’s “Eye on the Storm,” visit this page. To keep up with news on timing for launch of the blog, sign up for announcements. Got questions? Send an email to EyeOnTheStorm.

Topics: Weather Extremes
372 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
SAVANNAHSLEEPER
SAVANNAHSLEEPER
1 month ago

Hiya guys!

DMac
DMac
1 month ago

Testing 1, 2…..

SAVANNAHSLEEPER
SAVANNAHSLEEPER
1 month ago
Reply to  DMac

Transmission confirmation

Heymat Ozman
Heymat Ozman
1 month ago

Hopefully topic drift will be less of a problem in this new forum than in the previous one.

Heymat in Ohio.

Michael Anderson
Michael Anderson
1 month ago

Hey ya’ll. I see this comment system looks pretty bare bones at the moment, but at least we can’t comment here now.

Michael Anderson
Michael Anderson
1 month ago

*can. And it’s already got some more features now I see. Nice.

abacosurf
abacosurf
1 month ago

Thanks for the new platform fellas.

Storm Master
Storm Master
1 month ago

AL, 92, 2020072806, , BEST, 0, 131N, 502W, 25, 1008, DB

surfdog pr
surfdog pr
1 month ago

gfs 06 is running

surfdog pr
surfdog pr
1 month ago
Reply to  surfdog pr

shows a weak system moving onshore se fl.

supercane7
supercane7
1 month ago

92L is looking better convectively this morning. We shall see if it manages to tighten up over the next 48 hrs.

Nice to have the YCC comments up and running.

BarbaraGermany
BarbaraGermany
1 month ago

Good morning und hello!
Well, that’s a start at least. Just trying for now.

BarbaraGermany
BarbaraGermany
1 month ago
Reply to  BarbaraGermany

Test1 photo:
Test 2 photo: [urlcomment image[/img][/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/2jkimG3]Water lily[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/barbmz/]Barbara Mz[/url], auf Flickr

Barefootontherocks
Barefootontherocks
1 month ago
Reply to  BarbaraGermany

perhaps we need to do img src=” etc. and link to something like photobucket
I think I’ve forgotten how to do it though. 😁 (emoji smiley grin)

Barefootontherocks
Barefootontherocks
1 month ago

Aha. Emoji showed up! 😎

M.LeCyril
M.LeCyril
1 month ago

Aha. Emoji showed up!  😎

\o/

Personally I could live without cheesy animated meme GIFs, but I’m an ollllld man 😉

ChiThom
ChiThom
1 month ago
Reply to  BarbaraGermany

I think Dr Masters said no pictures yet.

vortMax
vortMax
1 month ago

It’s great that they now have a new commenting system, but I wish we can post pictures, and upvote/downvote

M.LeCyril
M.LeCyril
1 month ago
Reply to  vortMax

Voting’s live now, I’m sure images are very high up the features list and being actively worked on.

Weathercruise
Weathercruise
1 month ago

Hi Everyone, WU feels like home.I hate leaving but I also love to follow Dr. Masters and the Hurricane experts wherever they go.

surfdog pr
surfdog pr
1 month ago

alot of energy with 92 10″ inches plus for some of the islands. pRico can expect to get a soakin too. went back to my name i used when i first started blogging almost 20 yrs ago

hurricane_guineapig
hurricane_guineapig
1 month ago

Hi! I dunno about this commenting system… I wish you didn’t have to scroll all the way down to post a comment but whatever. 92L got quite a lot of convection going this DMAX, at this rate it’ll be named within a couple of days… of course, I’ve probably just ensured that the convection will disappear today 😛

Storm masters
Storm masters
1 month ago

could get named today when recon goes out and check it out

MC
MC
1 month ago
Reply to  Storm masters

What time they going?

hurricane_guineapig
hurricane_guineapig
1 month ago
Reply to  Storm masters

I dunno, doesn’t have enough convection for my liking just yet. It’s a really big system tho…. it looks big even for a WPAC storm!

M.LeCyril
M.LeCyril
1 month ago

Hit Ctrl+End? Or the Reply link

Jexpat
Jexpat
1 month ago

Another study on point that people may be interested in can be accessed at the American Meteorological Society’s Journal of Climate, Volume 30, Issue 1 (January 2017).

“Dominant Role of Subtropical Pacific Warming in Extreme Eastern Pacific Hurricane Seasons: 2015 and the Future”

The 2015 hurricane season in the eastern and central Pacific Ocean (EPO and CPO), particularly around Hawaii, was extremely active, including a record number of tropical cyclones (TCs) and the first instance of three simultaneous category-4 hurricanes in the EPO and CPO. A strong El Niño developed during the 2015 boreal summer season and was attributed by some to be the cause of the extreme number of TCs. However, according to a suite of targeted high-resolution model experiments, the extreme 2015 EPO and CPO hurricane season was not primarily induced by the 2015 El Niño tropical Pacific warming, but by warming in the subtropical Pacific Ocean. This warming is not typical of El Niño, but rather of the Pacific meridional mode (PMM) superimposed on long-term anthropogenic warming.

Although the likelihood of such an extreme year depends on the phase of natural variability, the coupled GCM projects an increase in the frequency of such extremely active TC years over the next few decades for EPO, CPO, and Hawaii as a result of enhanced subtropical Pacific warming from anthropogenic greenhouse gas forcing.

Full paper: https://journals.ametsoc.org/jcli/article/30/1/243/99544/Dominant-Role-of-Subtropical-Pacific-Warming-in?searchresult=1

*Modelling afficiandos might enjoy the application of FLOR: Forecast-Oriented Low Ocean Resolution Model, which comprises approximately 50-km mesh atmosphere and land components, and approximately 100-km mesh sea ice and ocean components.

** Good to see folks coming on board.

MC
MC
1 month ago

Morning. Whats our storm looking like?

carmot
carmot
1 month ago

Darn! I was hoping YCC might enable comments beyond just the Eye on the Storm section.

Browsing around, nope. And not even previous articles here. I thought it might be interesting to discuss “Ask Sara” topics (like “Can fast fashion be sustainable?” Because, well, I’ve direct experience/expert knowledge on this. Or the “Climate Explainers” articles. And a minor suggestion, that the nice book lists by Dr. Peter H. Gleick could include the actual url links to previous suggested book lists – not just the mere mention of them. A quick/simplistic internal YCC author search (since his byline isn’t a hotlink) didn’t readily offer the previous articles, only an external search gave me this good result: https://yaleclimateconnections.org/section/review/

M.LeCyril
M.LeCyril
1 month ago
Reply to  carmot

I know nothing of the inner deliberations of the YCC management cabal, but I would imagine the thing to do would be to roll out these new features on the EotS threads first and see how it goes. There will undoubtedly be unexpected gotchas and glitches, because networked software plus humans equals mayhem, but in a month or two I imagine it’d be fairly straightforward for them to turn on comments on other topics as well.

Matt
Matt
1 month ago

comment image

The curlycue clouds inland of the mid-Texas coast looks to have been picked up over Galveston Bay by a tight llc and flung up and SW (on the loop).
If this comes off-shore it might get interesting, this elliptical low.

M.LeCyril
M.LeCyril
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt

OMG IMAGES

DrCane1985
DrCane1985
1 month ago

Hi, Taz, =)

Storm masters
Storm masters
1 month ago
Reply to  DrCane1985

hi

DrCane1985
DrCane1985
1 month ago

*Overwhelming, rather

DrCane1985
DrCane1985
1 month ago

How do links and URLs work on here?

Are we able to post actual images and maps like we do on WU?

DrCane1985
DrCane1985
1 month ago

It’s rather plain, overwhelming and bland, but it is what it, 😛

DrCane1985
DrCane1985
1 month ago

Well, this certainly ain’t no WU – LOL!

This format is gonna take some gettin’ used to!

Storm masters
Storm masters
1 month ago
Reply to  DrCane1985

I agreed

MC
MC
1 month ago
Reply to  DrCane1985

Morning

M.LeCyril
M.LeCyril
1 month ago
Reply to  DrCane1985

It’s a strong thumbs-up for a clean, plain, unfussy layout from me!

How does it look on mobile?

Cynmila08
Cynmila08
1 month ago

Hello everyone! Glad to see that comments are up and running.

DrCane1985
DrCane1985
1 month ago

Howdy, y’all!

Mornin’ to one and all!

Very first comment here on YCC!

Austin :p
Austin :p
1 month ago

Finally let me sign up happy to have the comments up on here

Storm masters
Storm masters
1 month ago

looks like one area of 92L will keep going in too the Caribbean Sea and the main area of 92L that we been tracking will head WNW too south FL

Storm masters
Storm masters
1 month ago

looks like one are of 92L will keep going in too the Caribbean Sea and the main area of 92L that we been tracking will head WNW too south FL

K2
K2
1 month ago

Hello everyone!

Storm masters
Storm masters
1 month ago
Reply to  K2

hi

Jexpat
Jexpat
1 month ago
Reply to  K2

Hi K2.

Looking forward to your enthusiasm about storms, past & present as well as your takes on future weather events and university.

New Hamsphire Weather
New Hamsphire Weather
1 month ago

comment image

M.LeCyril
M.LeCyril
1 month ago

I see you were on Slashdot back in the day! Let’s hope the ascii-art doesn’t get out of hand…

Kumo
Kumo
1 month ago

This comment section has an old school feel.

Storm masters
Storm masters
1 month ago
Reply to  Kumo

I agreed this like what we used too have on the old old old site

Storm masters
Storm masters
1 month ago

this set vary stable too me and working like it should be

Cape rider
Cape rider
1 month ago

Looking forward to have this site fully operational

Storm masters
Storm masters
1 month ago
Reply to  Cape rider

yes there two things I like too see added

1 a way where we can see how many commits we have posted

2 a way for us too post a image

then this site would be grate

Storm masters
Storm masters
1 month ago

92L looks like two storm this morning

Storm masters
Storm masters
1 month ago

comment image

IronScooby
IronScooby
1 month ago

hey whats upYCC

Storm masters
Storm masters
1 month ago
Reply to  IronScooby

what’s up

Sugar Bear
Sugar Bear
1 month ago

great post doc.

Storm master
Storm master
1 month ago

Are we not able to post image yet ?

Birdgirl79
Birdgirl79
1 month ago
Reply to  Storm master

Testing

carmot
carmot
1 month ago

Testing simple WordPress commenting. To learn what might be allowed/enabled here.
Html tags: bold strong emphasis/bold strike strikethru italic underline YCC link

superscript subscript • bullet ° degree sign

blockquote: Yale Climate Connections is a nonpartisan, multimedia service providing daily broadcast radio programming and original web-based reporting, commentary, and analysis on the issue of climate change

quote: Yale Climate Connections is a nonpartisan, multimedia service providing daily broadcast radio programming and original web-based reporting, commentary, and analysis on the issue of climate change

★ star é é ↑ ↑ ↑ uparrow ʇxǝʇ uʍop-ǝpᴉsdn

carmot
carmot
1 month ago
Reply to  carmot

To view this comment and all its original formatting, please see my Discus post on Cat 6: http://disq.us/p/2atzhyp

Birdgirl79
Birdgirl79
1 month ago
Reply to  carmot

Testing

Storm master
Storm master
1 month ago

Hi

New Hamsphire Weather
New Hamsphire Weather
1 month ago
Reply to  Storm master

Hi

MahFL
MahFL
1 month ago

Test comment.

Storm master
Storm master
1 month ago
Reply to  MahFL

You get a F – lol

Hawaii Brian
Hawaii Brian
1 month ago

Douglas had almost no impact on the north shore of Oahu aside from great surf and west winds which blew leaves backwards on trees. We were very lucky

Merlene
Merlene
1 month ago
Reply to  Hawaii Brian

Amazing that the storm missed all the islands. Did you move from Baltimore?

Hawaii Brian
Hawaii Brian
1 month ago

Very little imact on the north shore of Oahu. Monday was rainier and windier after hurricane Douglas went by. It’s good to see this up!

Alexander Emmett
Alexander Emmett
1 month ago

Doc great post

Lindy
Lindy
1 month ago

Just checking in!

Andre Brooks
Andre Brooks
1 month ago

Hello everyone.

Lindy
Lindy
1 month ago
Reply to  Andre Brooks

Good morning, Andre.

DukeOfWeather
DukeOfWeather
1 month ago
Reply to  Lindy

Here for this slice of history. Douglas has been this year’s only impressive Epac storm, and the most impressive Pacific storm this year I believe, given the incredibly slow Wpac season. 2020 portends to be another active Atlantic year, precisely when we least need it. A 2013 season would be much more welcome. I am an old lurker from WU, and I shall continue to lurk here. Godspeed Bob and Dr. Masters!

Matt
Matt
1 month ago
Reply to  Andre Brooks

Aloha Andre

Andre Brooks
Andre Brooks
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt

Hello there.

K2
K2
1 month ago
Reply to  Andre Brooks

Hi there, Andre. Fancy seeing you here.

Andre Brooks
Andre Brooks
1 month ago
Reply to  K2

What’s up man how is it.

WeatherKidJoe
WeatherKidJoe
1 month ago
Reply to  Andre Brooks

The NHC will initiate advisories on PTC 9 at 11

Matt
Matt
1 month ago

comment image

I’m eying the rotation centered near Houston and wondering what happens if it enters the gulf

Andre Brooks
Andre Brooks
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt

I think some models were developing something by Florida.

Matt
Matt
1 month ago
Reply to  Andre Brooks

Aloha Andre

MleCyril
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt

DOOM, of course!

Reader1
Reader1
1 month ago

I wish there were more coverages regarding hurricane Hanna damage in Mexico.

Reader1
Reader1
1 month ago
Reply to  Reader1
carmot
carmot
1 month ago
Reply to  Reader1

Great link, thanks for sharing. Comprehensive coverage of the damage. I know, like many others in our community, I like to stay informed. And an ABC News affiliate actually included a few moments of HH flight view from Nick Underwood? Cool! Cheers.

carmot
carmot
1 month ago

Hello world! I’m happy to see commenting enabled. And the transition to YCC, I think a great place that aligns with all the interests, science, and principles of Dr. Masters, Mr. Henson, and hopefully many of the other great contributors at the former WU site. I look forward to all of this. And have already been busy catching up on many great & informative reads from this YCC site. Thanks Dr. Master, Mr. Henson, and YCC for all you’re doing. Awesome. Stay awesome.

Reader1
Reader1
1 month ago
Reply to  carmot

Those were them good old days over at Cat 6.

WxColorado
WxColorado
1 month ago
Reply to  carmot

Finally!

Geminis
Geminis
1 month ago
Reply to  carmot

Hi

CAPT DEEZ
CAPT DEEZ
1 month ago
Reply to  carmot

Good morning all!!

Mike
Mike
1 month ago
Reply to  carmot

Test

Troutmadness
Troutmadness
1 month ago
Reply to  carmot

Good Morning from sunny and moderate (64f) northern Michigan!

Jackie
Jackie
1 month ago
Reply to  carmot

Hi everyone

PR100x35
PR100x35
1 month ago
Reply to  carmot

Good

Ed Stock
Ed Stock
1 month ago
Reply to  carmot

It would be great if the comment system eventually has an “ignore user” feature. The Cat 6 blog would have been an absolute mess during hurricane season without it.

David duke
David duke
1 month ago
Reply to  carmot

I think it’s going to hit New Orleans and wipe out all the colored people

ClimateNHBSH
1 month ago
Reply to  carmot

Hi Carmot! Hope all is well, I am going to upload the timelapse videos that I told you about to youtube sometime in the next month. It is cool to see the transition.

carmot
carmot
1 month ago
Reply to  ClimateNHBSH

Hey NHBSH! Awesome! I really look forward to seeing your timelapse videos. I’ll bet I can learn a lot from them. I’m still a total noob. I guess you might’ve seen my latest I just posted hours ago? Managaha Island off Saipan. Let’s see what happens with a direct YouTube link now:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgeX_ebsMeI

And attempt at “embed video link”:
<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/xgeX_ebsMeI” frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture” allowfullscreen></iframe>

Augustine V
Augustine V
1 month ago
Reply to  carmot

Testing one two three.

1 2 3 5