Hurricane Darby slowly weakening; System could still bring substantial rain to Hawaiʻi
Hurricane Darby continues to slowly weaken far east-southeast of the Hawaiian Islands, with more rapid weakening expected soon, according to the latest forecast issued by the National Hurricane Center.
At 11 a.m. HST, the center of Darby was located about 870 miles E of Hilo, Hawaiʻi and 1,725 miles ESE of Honolulu. Maximum sustained winds were 100 mph and the system was moving toward the west near 16 mph.
The NHC reports that this motion is expected to continue for the next few days. According to the NHC, significant weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours, with Darby expected to become a post-tropical cyclone on Saturday before dissipating by Sunday.
“On the forecast track, the center of Darby, or it’s remnant, will pass south of the Big Island on Saturday,” according to the NHC.
The system is described as a “small tropical cyclone with hurricane force winds extending outward up to 15 miles from the center.”
The next complete advisory will be issued at 5 p.m.
HI-EMA Activates State Emergency Operations Center to Monitor Hurricane Darby;
Weakening System Still Could Bring Substantial Rain, Gusty Winds
Meanwhile, the Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency has activated the State Emergency Operations Center as of 8 a.m. Thursday to monitor Hurricane Darby after the weakening storm system crossed into the central Pacific overnight.
The activation to Level 3, one step above normal operations, provides additional resources to plan for potential impacts and coordinate with Hawaiʻi’s counties and our other partners if they need support to cope with any consequences from the storm.
“While the National Weather Service expects Darby to weaken and pass to our south this weekend, the remains of the tropical system could still bring several inches of rain and locally strong winds to the Big Island and Maui by Saturday,” said Luke Meyers, administrator of HI-EMA. “When you combine those potential impacts with the high surf we expect this weekend, we want to make sure we’re ready for anything, just in case.”
Darby provides a reminder that hurricane season can threaten Hawai‘i even if a storm passes well offshore, with wind, coastal waves and local flooding of roads and low-lying areas all possible.
HI-EMA reminds residents and visitors of these tips before and during heavy weather:
- Check the places where you live, work and play for potential hazards, such as blocked drainage or tree limbs that could blow through a window or roof — there’s still time to get ready.
- Top up the fuel tank and charge mobile phones, in case power fails or you need to move someplace safer.
- Make sure you have water and food supplies, necessary medicine, masks and sanitizer, battery-powered radio and other emergency supplies. HI-EMA recommends that residents are Two Weeks Ready, but even a few days’ worth makes you more prepared. Don’t forget about supplies for pets!
- There’s never a bad time to make an emergency plan with your family — and practice it.
If Darby does bring extreme conditions, remember to avoid driving into water if there’s local flooding. Flowing water can carry away a car, and Hawaiʻi’s steep valleys mean it can flow fast – turn around, don’t drown.
By coincidence, the activation of the State Emergency Operations Center is happening at the same time as a previously scheduled emergency preparedness exercise on Saturday, July 16, involving Hawai‘i amateur radio operators. If you happen to hear radio traffic about a simulated emergency on Saturday, don’t be confused. Any information related to a real emergency incident would be communicated through multiple channels, including the HI-EMA Twitter feed at @Hawaii_EMA and messages to local media.