Joe’s Weather Blog: Lane to impact Hawaii and more rain for KC (WED-8/22)

Hurricane Lane is going to be a high impact event for the Hawaiian Island chain. So much so that anyone vacationing or honeymooning there will have some rough weather to deal with for a couple of days. Power outages, wind driven damage, flooding and more await the Islands. This is a rare thing for Hawaii as they typically aren’t directly affected by hurricanes. One of the many issues is that while Lane has achieved rare category 5 status near Hawaii…it will start weakening. So in terms of the message to the folks there it gets more complicated…the concern, a weakening hurricane tends to keep people from acting in a responsive way. As we’ve seen from prior hurricanes though that have affected the Gulf region…weakening hurricanes have built up days of extreme waves and storm surge potential…it’s not like all of a sudden that goes away. In addition, there are so many mountainous parts to the islands that while the circulation of Lane will get messed up, the wind effects can be very localized and very bad. Those same mountains will help to generate massive amounts of rain (perhaps feet of it) and that means devastating flooding in parts of the Islands.

For KC…we have clouds around this morning and there is more smoke in the atmosphere as well from the western Fires that are ongoing…our rain threat increases tomorrow.



Forecast:

Today: Mainly sunny this afternoon and comfortable with highs around 80°. A few sprinkles are possible especially on the KS side.

Tonight: Cloudy skies with lows in the 60s

Thursday: Rain and storms likely through the early afternoon then clouds and cool weather with highs only in the 70s

Friday: Some rain is possible early in the morning then seasonable and more humid with highs  well into the 80s

This weekend: Hazy hot and humid with highs well into the 90s. Summer returns



Discussion:

Let’s start with Lane…because this is a big ticket item and I don’t think it’s getting the attention it needs to get. If TV news spent a lot of time and attention on Maria affecting the Caribbean then there should be a lot of attention on Lane…but I’m not seeing it.

Overnight Lane achieved category 5 status with winds close to 160 MPH. It’s a big, structurally impressive hurricane. Notice the pinhole type eye of the hurricane.

Local radar from the Big Island isn’t that impressive right now and the storms core will pass towards the west of the Big Island area…so they may avoid the worst winds from the core of Lane…torrential rains/flooding though may be a different story.

The latest advisories for the Hawaiian chain…

Here is the latest information…

Notice how the storms core may stay offshore. Although we’ll see what happens when it gets towards the NW part of the Island chain…if you don’t remember how the islands line up…

Tropical storm force winds are winds near and above 40 MPH

 

 

So there are many interesting things regarding Lane…and how we’re trying to communicate the impacts to the folks there.

So you can see by the above tweet that hurricanes landfalls are a rare thing. Iniki, that hit Kauai back in the early 90s did massive devastation to the island that affected tourism for years afterwards.

Lane may actually have peaked in intensity. There is some upper level shear that may be impacting the hurricane this morning and may start to weaken it a bit. I’mm noticing the brighter cloud tops starting to be more towards the eastern side of the hurricane as opposed to perfectly around the eye of the storm

This is an indication of shear above the hurricane…and hurricanes hate shear. It messes up the engine of the storms core. Typically we see weakening and I think that may happen over the next 24 hours. As a matter of fact the new report this morning indeed shows an ever so slight weaker storm…155 MPH winds…back to category 4 status.

The problem with communicating this is that when we tell people that the hurricane is weakening, we worry that folks won’t take it as seriously as if it would maintain that powerful overnight strength. IF people don’t take it as seriously as they should, especially from a flooding standpoint…they may not act. Those Islands are nothing but mountainous and Kauai has the 2nd wettest spot on earth already

It would be fascinating to get accurate rain totals after the fact…

What is a big issue is that all that moisture from the hurricane will be running up the mountains…that helps to enhance something that we call “orographic” lift and makes the rain come down even harder and faster…with devastating effects possible.

Graphic via Britannica

It’s a very common feature in the world…and even occurs in the Plains…whenever you have air running along rising terrain, it’s being lifted.

The future track of Lane though is a bit murky and it’s possible the storms center will never hit the Island chain…the concern is that the circulation will still be readily felt for many of the Islands and perhaps with bad consequences. Anyway, when the sun comes up there today…these visible pictures will be interesting to watch. They are 5 hours behind us.

 

OK…that’s a lot of words written about Lane…

Onto our weather…

It’s going to get hot again…and as we transition from the comfortable air now to the hotter and more humid air coming on Friday into the rest of the month it appears (at least mostly above average)…there should be another decent rain chance tomorrow.

A wave will be moving through the central part of the country. This will set of a north to south area of rain that will move across KS overnight into the early AM hours then move through the State Line area during the morning through lunch time period. It will then move away in the afternoon.

It will leave some sort of remnant boundary south of the city which then will be a factor in the early Friday rain chances…as winds above that surface boundary create lift and generate new areas of rain that may impact our area again…so two different chances of rain possible before lunch on Friday. Chance #1 is the better of the two chances.

Beyond that all the rain we’ve seen over the past several weeks have greened up the terrain to some extent again (at least for some areas) and that moisture will need to be evaporated as we heat up…that means nasty summer humidity for the weekend and beyond.

Our feature photo today is from People of Cowtown

Joe

 

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