Iselle soaks Kauai

LIHUE — While the Flash Flood Warning for Kauai was replaced with a Flash Flood Watch on Saturday, rains from the Tropical Storm Iselle continued intermittently across the island.

The National Weather Service’ Central Pacific Hurricane Center in Honolulu said Tropical Storm Iselle had moved on, and was about 250 miles west-southwest of Lihue and moving west at 15 mph on Saturday.

The NWS also issued an advisory for Hurricane Julio and placed it 400 miles east-northeast of Hilo.

Derek Wore, a meteorologist and forecaster with the National Weather Service in Honolulu, said they are getting more confident that Julio, downgraded to category 1 Saturday, will maintain its course and pass a couple of hundred miles away and not cause any damage to the main Hawaiian Islands.

“There is always some uncertainty with hurricanes and tropical storms,” Wore added. “But we shouldn’t see a whole lot of rainfall that is directly associated with Julio.”

Iselle brought rain Friday night and into Saturday morning. The average rainfall recorded at 19 different Kauai locations was 4.05 inches. 

The highest recorded rainfall total was at Kilohana with 9.58 inches, followed by Mount Waialeale with 7.56, Kapahi with 6.76, and Wainiha at 6.35.

The storm caused little trouble on Kauai, other than many businesses and government agencies deciding to close Friday, and sparking a run on bottled water and gas. There was a downed tree, a downed power pole and the Hanalei Bridge was closed late Friday and reopened early Saturday. About 25 people spent Friday night at an emergency shelter opened at Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall. The shelter was closed Saturday. All roads were open Saturday.

The presence of the hurricane north of the island will likely cut off the trade winds, and there should be a pronounced weakening of local winds, Wore added. 

A high surf advisory remained in place as Hurricane Julio moves north with the potential for warning levels until Monday morning.

“There may also be some large surf on the east facing shores,” Wore said. “But there is nothing else that would be of interest for us which is great news.”

There are no other systems developing that are of interest to Hawaii, but the concern of more hurricanes and tropical storms developing should remain into November, he said. This is an El Niño summer, or a warm oceanic phase near South America, where many of these Pacific Ocean storm systems develop.

“We have a long hurricane season ahead of us,” Wore said.

Today’s forecast for Kauai is mostly cloudy, with 10 mph winds, scattered showers and a high near 85 degrees. The chances for precipitation should decrease by noon Monday with sunny skies and 84 degrees.

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