The US National Hurricane Center (NHC) in its 17:00 (local time) update on Friday, July 24, has slightly downgraded Hurricane Douglas' intensity as it continues to move closer to the Hawaiian Islands. In the latest advisory, Douglas is located 1062 km (660 miles) east-southeast of Hilo with maximum sustained winds of185 kph (115mph), placing it as a Category 3 hurricane, moving west-northwest at 32 kph (20 mph). The counties of Oahu, Maui, and Big Island are all under hurricane watches as deteriorating conditions are expected in the area over the next 36 to 48 hours. Gradual weakening is expected to continue throughout the weekend, however, Douglas is still forecast to be at hurricane strength when it nears the islands, which is expected on Sunday, July 26. A high surf warning will remain in effect throughout the storm's duration for the east-facing shores of the islands with breaking waves of 4.6 to 7.6m (15 to 25 ft) expected. Flash flooding is likely along the windward slopes of the islands with low lying areas expected to experience significant flooding due to rapid runoff.
Strong winds, heavy rainfall and associated flooding, and dangerous seas are likely to affect Hawaii until Monday, July 27. Associated disruptions to transportation, power, communications, and business are to be expected in the near term.
Those in areas forecast to be affected by the storm system are advised to monitor local weather reports, confirm flight reservations, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities, anticipate adverse weather and power and transportation disruptions, and avoid walking or driving through floodwater.
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