If you are on Maui or coming to Maui in the next day or two, please check the news. Tropical Storm Darby is approaching, reaching Big Island today and scheduled to hit Maui tonight.
What is a tropical storm? A tropical storm is the pre-cursor to a hurricane. Yes, June-November is hurricane season in the Pacific. This has to date been a rather quiet hurricane season, but we do have to be vigilant.
The Central Pacific Hurricane Season has the Saffir-Simpson scale of storm classification posted:
- Tropical Storm – winds 39-73 mph (34-63 kt)
- Category 1 – winds 74-95 mph (64-82 kt)
- Category 2 – winds 96-110 mph (83-95 kt)
- Category 3 – winds 111-130 mph (96-113 kt)
- Category 4 – winds 131-155 mph (114-135 kt)
- Category 5 – winds 156 mph and up (135+ kt)
As cyclones/hurricanes go, this is a relatively small one, but can pack heavy rain and winds.
What to do? Prepare for power and potable water outages – store water for washing and drinking, make sure your electronics are charged, you have gas in the car, and have food and prescriptions for a few days in case stores are closed.
Stay out of the ocean during and for a few days after the storm. Storms stir up the water, coupled with dirty run-off from land, it increases the risk of infection but also shark-attack. Once the water is no longer murky, you should be good to resume beach activities.
It may end up being a bit of a non-event, depending if Big Island deflects the storm as it has in the past few years. But best be safe than sorry.
If you are traveling to Maui, double check the flight status with your airline before heading to the airport.