Kona Low Storm System to Blast Hawaii with Powerful Winds and Thunderstorms

A Kona Low storm system is threatening the Big Island in the coming hours and days, according to the latest Hawaii weather forecast.

The system is expected to bring strong precipitation and winds, resulting in potential flooding and widespread travel disruption.

Hawaii Storm

(Photo : Photo by EUGENE TANNER/AFP via Getty Images)
A beach is empty in Honolulu, Hawaii on December 7, 2021, as powerful winter tropical storm known as a Kona Low hit the Hawaii islands with heavy rain and high winds causing wide spread flooding and power outages across the state. – Hawaii’s Governor David Ige issued a state of emergency for all of the states islandson December 6. The National Weather Service reports the threat of catastrophic flooding as the storm system slowly moves from east to west.

Hawaii emergency officials have urged its residents and visitors in all Hawaiian islands to prepare for an incoming Kona Low storm, local news outlet KITV 4 reported on Thursday, February 16.

There were no immediate reports of evacuation orders for residents of Hawaii.

However, such measure is possible in the coming hours and days.

The announcement pertains to an incoming weather system that brings high wind, high surf, thunderstorms, and heavy rain that could hit the US state from Thursday morning to Saturday afternoon, February 18, according to the emergency officials, as cited by the said local island television.

The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HIEMA) announced on social media that the incoming Kona Low storm system will bring unstable conditions due to heavy rainfall, wherein on Thursday it will start from the eastern end of the state and navigate its way through the state, as cited by KITV 4.

Furthermore, HIEMA emphasized torrential rain over saturated soils could lead to flash flooding, road closures, infrastructural damage, and landslides.

Also Read: Experts are Monitoring Development of Tropical Storm in Pacific Ocean

NWS Honolulu Office

The National Weather Service Honolulu Office (NWS Honolulu) on Thursday provided safety and emergency tips for the looming severe weather with the following:

  •  secure loose or faulty outdoor equipment or furniture
  •  check for the availability of emergency kit
  •  monitor the latest weather updates at www.weather.gov/hfo/
  •  download and use the mPING app
  •  comply with local county officials
  •  consider re-scheduling outdoor activities

Hawaii Weather

Hawaii weather this week witnessed snow and flooding rain from the Kona Low while the Kilauea volcano spews lava, according to the FOX Forecast Center, which also reported that a significant moisture surge will navigate through the Hawaiian islands at least until Saturday.

North winds weakened and shifted on a southward pattern on Wednesday, February 15, increasing the humidity as the storm system located about 300 miles north of Hawaii gradually moves west, according to the forecast center.

FOX cites that the NWS Honolulu stated the moisture will fuel the system and result in prolonged rainfall.

No further forecast regarding the system is available at his time.

What is a Kona Low?

Kona lows are considered by experts as subtropical cyclones that transpires during the cool season in the north-central part of the Pacific Ocean.

The word “kona” means leeward and is often used to describe winds with a southerly component which replaces the dominant trade winds, as cited by the University of Hawaii.

In February 1997, a Kona Low storm system struck the Hawaiian islands for almost a week and brought record-breaking winds in the town of Hilo, a census-designated place in Hawaii.

Information from the NOAAA Storm Data that year, provided by the university, indicates damage estimates cost $4 million in terms of crop loss, property damage, power outages, and phone line outages.

Related Article: Severe Weather Looms Over Hawaii as Thanksgiving Approaches, Forecast Shows Strong Damaging Winds, Scattered Showers

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