The trend is downward in wind speed as the storm moves toward Hawaii through cooler surface waters and into wind shears – a combination that can tear at the storm and reduce its power.
This is the first storm we can recall in decades that has approached Hawaii so directly straight from the east. Hurricanes Iwa and Iniki (1982 and 1992) were spawned in the Central Pacific region – hence their Hawaiian names – and came from the south.
Forecasting has improved greatly since those storm devastated Kauai and damaged Oahu, as well. We still recall the 1 am call on 9/11/92 from a newspaper reporter friend who had just learned Iniki was heading straight for Kauai, something not known when most of us went to bed.
What Else Has Improved?
We won’t know until after thi…