World leaders are safe in Hawaii


HONOLULU, Hawaii – Delegates from more than 170 countries, including US President Obama, in Hawaii for the upcoming IUCN World Conservation Congress 2016, were bracing with mother natures threat to the Hawaiian islands. Today the good news arrived that the first out of two threats may no longer be a threat at all.

Hurricane Madeline has been downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane and is continuing to rapidly weaken as it passes south of the Hawaiian Islands, with its weather impacts being felt starting today, according to an update today from the National Weather Service.

The center of Hurricane Madeline will not make landfall in any of the Hawaiian Islands as it maintains its westerly track across the central Pacific. As of 8:00 a.m. today, the hurricane’s center was located approximately 140 miles east of Hilo on the island of Hawaii and moving west, southwest at 12 miles per hour. Maximum sustained winds at the hurricane’s center were at 80 miles per hour.

The island of Hawaii, being southernmost and farthest east in the chain of the Hawaiian Islands, will see the impacts of Hurricane Madeline first, with forecasters projecting potentially heavy winds and rainfall, as well as high surf, starting later today.

It is expected that the islands of Maui, Molokai and Lanai will begin seeing the impacts of Hurricane Madeline between 6-12 hours after the island of Hawaii. The three Maui County islands, along with Oahu and Kauai, are located more to the northwest, which should help lessen Hurricane Madeline’s impacts as it moves farther away west.

Hurricane Madeline is expected to complete its pass of the Hawaiian Islands by end of day Thursday. Until then, the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) is advising residents and visitors to take all necessary safety precautions until the all-clear notification has been issued.

The National Weather Service is also closely monitoring the progress of Hurricane Lester, the center of which was located 1,085 miles east of Hilo, and moving west at 12 miles per hour with maximum sustained winds of 130 miles per hour, as of 8:00 a.m. today.

Hurricane Lester is currently a Category 4 hurricane, but forecasters expect it to weaken as it draws closer to Hawaii and pass to the north of the island chain. Potential weather impacts of heavy wind and rainfall are projected to be seen late Friday and extend through the Labor Day weekend.

eTN will be attending the upcoming IUCN World Conservation Congress 2016 from September 1 to September 10.