A Tropical storm that had formed south of Hawaii has now been elevated to the status of a hurricane. Christened Hurricane Ana, a warning by the National Weather Service has resulted in the Governor of Hawaii, Neil Abercombie, declaring a state of emergency across all the islands. According to ABC News, Hurricane Ana was treading on a path just south of Hawaii. The hurricane, however, is not expected to be of destructive force because its center is expected to remain at least 150 miles from the Big Island. However, its effects would result in strong waves and strong winds that can possibly cause some damage – especially to beach goers. Authorities in Hawaii for the same reason, are exercising caution.
According to weather service meteorologist Chris Brenchley, "Any of the islands could experience tropical storm impacts... so it's important to still prepare and make plans."
He added that waves near the shores could reach up to 15 feet on both the North and South islands of Hawaii. Similar conditions will persist through late Saturday and Sunday. Currently, the National Weather Service has listed Hurricane Ana as a Category 1 hurricane. It is moving towards Hawaii at a leisurely pace of 13mph and if it follows its current path, it is expected to pass through safely without causing considerable damage to Hawaii. Currently, wind speeds within Hurricane Ana is in the range of 75 to 80 mph. By Sunday, Hurricane Ana is expected to weaken and again turn in to a tropical depression according to Brenchley.
Meanwhile, the ABC News report has confirmed that the seas on the Big Islands' southern shores have become rough, with people reporting 15-foot waves in Pohoiki Bay. However, waves in Oahu remained small, and it was business as usual at Waikiki Beach. Meanwhile, tourists in Hawaii appear unperturbed about the impending threat by Hurricane Ana, and seem to be in a defiant mood to not let the hurricane ruin their vacation plans. Other people are excited about witnessing a tropical storm, since many of them have not had the experience of seeing once ever!
The National Weather Service expects Hawaii to receive at least six to eight inches of rainfall due to Hurricane Ana. In some areas, up to a foot of rain can be expected. Following the declaration of a state of emergency, the Hawaii chapter of the American Red Cross is planning to open evacuation shelters across the Big Island. Some flight schedules may be affected, as Island Air planned to suspend its Maui and Lanai flights Saturday afternoon. The declaration of a state of Emergency in Hawaii due to Hurricane Ana comes just a few weeks after a volcanic lava flow had threatened a community there.
[Images Via Accuweather and The Washington Post]