Dora remains a Category 4 storm as it moves westward
Hurricane Dora, a powerful Category 4 storm, is continuing its steady march westward across the Central Pacific, passing well south of the Hawaiian Islands. As of 5 a.m. on Tuesday, the center of Hurricane Dora was located 570 miles south of Hilo, according to the National Weather Center.
Dora poses no direct threat to the islands, but it is still affecting the state with strong winds, high surf and fire danger. The storm has maximum sustained winds of 130 mph with higher gusts, and is moving west at 22 mph. It is expected to gradually weaken over the next several days and enter the western Pacific basin on Friday.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles from Dora’s center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles. There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect for Hawaii.
Strong and potentially damaging winds affect most of the state
The energy from Dora is responsible for an uptick in the trade winds across the Hawaiian Islands, which will remain strong and potentially damaging through Wednesday. Most of the state is under a high wind warning or wind advisory, with east winds of 30 to 45 mph and gusts up to 65 mph. The summits of Haleakala, Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa will see winds of 35 to 55 mph with gusts over 65 mph.
The strong winds could blow down trees and power lines, causing widespread power outages and travel difficulties, especially for high-profile vehicles. Residents are advised to secure outdoor items and avoid any outdoor activities that involve the use of fire or a fire ignition source.
High surf warning and advisory issued for east-facing shores
Despite staying well south of Hawaii, large swells from Dora are also bringing dangerous coastal impacts to the islands, particularly on the east-facing shores. A high surf warning is in effect until 6 p.m. today for the east shores of Hawaii island, Maui and Molokai, with surf up to 10 to 15 feet. A high surf advisory is in effect until 6 p.m. today for the east shores of Oahu and Kauai, with surf up to 8 to 12 feet.
The large-breaking waves could cause life-threatening rip currents, coastal erosion and beach flooding. Beachgoers are urged to stay out of the water and away from the shore break. Swells generated by Dora are expected to begin impacting Johnston Island late Wednesday, likely producing large and life-threatening surf through Thursday.
Very dry conditions increase fire risk across leeward areas
While some windward and mountain locations could see more clouds and some showers, the overall chances for steady and heavy rainfall will remain low as extremely dry air flows in from the east. This, along with the high winds, will lead to an elevated risk of spreading fires across parts of the islands. A red flag warning has been issued for all leeward portions of each Hawaii Island through Wednesday morning.
In order to prevent fires from starting or spreading, residents are advised to limit any outdoor burning and refrain from using equipment that sparks easily outdoors. Also, please extinguish and dispose cigarette butts properly. Several brush fires have already been reported on Maui and Hawaii island, forcing some road closures and evacuations .
A return of a more typical trade wind pattern is anticipated later in the week through the weekend, as Dora moves farther away from Hawaii.