Getting ready for your trip to Hawaii? Dreaming of those beautiful tropical beaches? Walking on that soft white sand and into the crystal clear ocean waters? And then on the day that you’re packing, it comes across the news that a major hurricane is heading straight for the Hawaiian Islands. It does put a damper on things, doesn’t it?
It is true that Hawaii is susceptible to hurricanes and other tropical storms due to its location in the Pacific Ocean. But hurricanes in Hawaii are a rare occurrence. In the past 60 years, only four hurricanes have been recorded to have actually hit the islands. And the last major one was Hurricane Iniki in 1992.
But hurricanes are only a concern for part of the year. Hurricane season in Hawaii is from June to November. This is when water temperatures rise to nearly 80 degrees Fahrenheit. With the increase in temperatures and humidity, a new tropical storm is sure to form.
Once a storm has formed and reaches wind speeds of 74 mph, it is now classified as a Category 1 Hurricane. The category levels increase from there as the storm intensifies and gains increased wind speed.
Generally, hurricanes move in an east to west direction. This is the same direction that trade winds take. But if a hurricane is over cool waters it can be affected by winds from other directions too.
There is a path of warm water that stretches about 1,000 miles east of the islands. Once the storm hits this path, it’s sure to maintain its direction and intensity level.
There have been a number of hurricanes over the past 60 years that have developed and made their way towards Hawaii. However, most of them have either changed direction or decreased in intensity as they approach the islands.
There are some reasons for this, which we can thank Mother Nature for.
Some believe that the high volcanic peaks on Big Island are acting as shields. They’re over 13,000 feet high. And most hurricanes seem to change direction once it meets Big Island. This means the other islands that fall in line behind Big Island are mostly not affected.
Meteorologists have also found a high-pressure feature located northeast of the islands during the same months as hurricane season. They believe this high pressure also plays a role in deflecting hurricanes away from the islands.
So don’t let the news of a hurricane in Hawaii cause you to change your travel plans. As history has pointed out, hurricane landfalls on the islands are a rare occurrence. Most are deflected, avoiding any direct hits. However, weather patterns can change and rarity can always occur.
Image By: Hawaii News Now