Fire and Rain: The Legacy of Hurricane Lane in Hawai‘iJuly 2020

Fire and Rain: The Legacy of Hurricane Lane in Hawai‘iJuly 2020

Congratulations to WRRC Director Tom Giambellica and colleagues who published “Fire and Rain: The Legacy of Hurricane Lane in Hawai‘i

During a four-day period in August 2018, Hurricane Lane devastated the Hawaiian Islands despite the category 5 hurricane never making landfall. The record breaking torrential rainfall caused severe flooding and landslides on the islands of Hawai‘i, O‘ahu, and Maui, while the high-intensity winds contributed to multiple wildfires in the drought areas of west Maui and O‘ahu. This study documents the compounding hazards of fire and rain generated from a single storm, what conditions may have contributed to the intensity, and why further research is needed to understand whether this may become more common in the future. The research team was led by University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (UHM) Atmospheric Sciences Alison Nugent, and team members Ryan Longman (Geography & Environment, UHM; and East-West Center), Clay Trauernicht (Natural Resources and Environmental Management, UHM), Matthew Lucas (Geography & Environment, UHM; and Hawai‘i Data Science Institute, UH), Henry Diaz (Geography & Environment, UHM), and Thomas W. Giambelluca (WRRC Director; and Geography & Environment, UHM). The published study can be found in Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.

Photo caption: Hurricane Lane brought heavy rain and strong winds that caused severe flooding in Wailuku River, Hawai‘i, and wildfires on Maui. (Photo credits: Crystal Richard, top photo [August 2018]; Maui Fire Dept., bottom photo [2018])

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