Mother Nature spares islands, gusts weaker than predicted - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Mother Nature spares islands, gusts weaker than predicted

Bob Ballard Bob Ballard
Down slope wind gusts occur as strong winds cross over the summits of the Koolau Mountains on Oahu Down slope wind gusts occur as strong winds cross over the summits of the Koolau Mountains on Oahu

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

MANOA (KHNL) - The potentially life-threatening gusts predicted for much of Hawaii end up moving out of harm's way, as Mother Nature decides to spare the islands a severe blow.

"It is going to be frustrating for people who made plans today or who had plans based on what our wind forecast was and it didn't quite work out the way we thought," said Bob Ballard of the National Weather Service.

Forecasts for gusts of up to 60 miles per hour triggered schools and businesses to close Friday.

Except in summits, for the most part, the brutal winds that were expected to pierce through the islands, never arrived.

The twist in Mother Nature sent life-threatening winds north of the islands, dissolving predictions of up to 60 mile per hour gusts.

"The forecast is never exactly perfect. It's possible that we forecast 60 mph winds and maybe you would end up with 70 mph winds so there's always a little bit of wiggle room in the forecast," said Ballard.

While that wiggle room fell on the side of weaker winds, the National Weather Service says it's better to be safe.

"It would be better for people to prepare for events like this than have the event happen and not be prepared and be caught off guard," said Ballard.

On Oahu, the strongest winds hit Schofield Barracks, with gusts at near 50 miles per hour.

"From the Waianae coast - Nanakuli, Maili - the winds decelerate then they go up and over the mountain and they accelerate into the Central Valley. This is where Schofield is."

The Koolau create the same effect on the Windward side, which explains why town side was calm.

"A lot of people here in town are like where's the wind? What's going on? Why isn't it windy? Why did you cancel school? Of course we don't make the decision to cancel school," said Ballard.

An advisory is for gusts to 50 miles per hour, a warning is over 60. With only a 10 mile per hour difference, the National Weather Service says it's a tough call, but would rather side with safety than risk.

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