Hurricane Lane Could Be First to Directly Hit Hawaii’s Big Island in Recorded History
Update: Hurricane Lane is now a Category 5 storm.
The Category 4 storm, currently blowing 150 miles per hour at its peak, has a projected path that could either parallel or pass over all of the islands in the Hawaiian chain.
The Central Pacific Hurricane Center in Honolulu posted hurricane watches for the eastern Hawaiian islands, including the Big Island and Maui, saying they could face tropical-storm-force winds and heavy rains by Wednesday or Thursday.
"This isn't Florida. The landscape and infrastructure are different. Take this one seriously," Federal Emergency Management Agency strategic planner Michael Lowry tweeted, according to The Washington Post.
This is a troubling forecast for #Hawaii. There are a million people on #Oahu alone, where no direct hurricane impa… https://t.co/OhVwXTh0hp— Michael Lowry (@Michael Lowry)1534863463.0
The Hurricane Center said it might extend watches to the western islands, including Oahu, later. If that happens, it could make for the first time a hurricane has made landfall in Honolulu since Hawaii became a state.
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell urged residents to take the approaching storm seriously, despite the fact that Hurricane Hector bypassed the big island Aug. 8 after threatening it, as The Weather Channel reported at the time.
"Some people might say, 'Another hurricane, it didn't hit us last time, we don't need to worry.' No, we got to plan for the worst and hope for the best," Caldwell said Monday, according to CBS News.
Hawaiian's seemed to be heeding his advice, as The Associated Press reported Tuesday.
"People are getting ready, which is exactly what we want," Maui County spokesman Rod Antone told The Associated Press. "I know people are taking trips to Costco, buying ramen, rice, the usual. Toilet paper."
He also urged people to prepare emergency kits and withdraw cash from ATMs in case of a power outage.
Hawaiian Airlines has waived change fees for flights to or between the islands from Tuesday to Sunday.
Senior Honolulu forecaster Tom Birchard said that the islands could be hit with heavy rains, flash flooding and high surf even if the center of the storm does not hit the islands directly, CBS News reported.
The Big Island of Hawaii, the most likely to be first hit by Lane, has never been hit directly by a hurricane in recorded history, according to The Washington Post.
The two hurricanes to hit the state in recorded history, Dot in 1959 and Iniki in 1992, both hit Kauai, Senior Research Associate at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science Brian McNoldy tweeted, according to The Washington Post.
Only two hurricanes have made landfall on any of the Hawaiian islands in recorded history: Dot in 1959 and Iniki in… https://t.co/1PVMmEmimY— Brian McNoldy (@Brian McNoldy)1534856591.0
The storm was moving west as of Tuesday, but is expected to turn north. The extent to which it does so will determine how directly it hits one or more Hawaiian islands.
A tornado tore through a city north of Birmingham, Alabama, Monday night, killing one person and injuring at least 30.
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By Katherine Kornei
Clear-cutting a forest is relatively easy—just pick a tree and start chopping. But there are benefits to more sophisticated forest management. One technique—which involves repeatedly harvesting smaller trees every 30 or so years but leaving an upper story of larger trees for longer periods (60, 90, or 120 years)—ensures a steady supply of both firewood and construction timber.
A Pattern in the Rings<p>The <a href="https://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/coppice-standards-0" target="_blank">coppice-with-standards</a> management practice produces a two-story forest, said <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Bernhard_Muigg" target="_blank">Bernhard Muigg</a>, a dendrochronologist at the University of Freiburg in Germany. "You have an upper story of single trees that are allowed to grow for several understory generations."</p><p>That arrangement imprints a characteristic tree ring pattern in a forest's upper story trees (the "standards"): thick rings indicative of heavy growth, which show up at regular intervals as the surrounding smaller trees are cut down. "The trees are growing faster," said Muigg. "You can really see it with your naked eye."</p><p>Muigg and his collaborators characterized that <a href="https://ltrr.arizona.edu/about/treerings" target="_blank">dendrochronological pattern</a> in 161 oak trees growing in central Germany, one of the few remaining sites in Europe with actively managed coppice-with-standards forests. They found up to nine cycles of heavy growth in the trees, the oldest of which was planted in 1761. The researchers then turned to a historical data set — more than 2,000 oak <a href="https://eos.org/articles/podcast-discovering-europes-history-through-its-timbers" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">timbers from buildings and archaeological sites</a> in Germany and France dating from between 300 and 2015 — to look for a similar pattern.</p>
A Gap of 500 Years<p>The team found wood with the characteristic coppice-with-standards tree ring pattern dating to as early as the 6th century. That was a surprise, Muigg and his colleagues concluded, because the first mention of this forest management practice in historical documents occurred only roughly 500 years later, in the 13th century.</p><p>It's probable that forest management practices were not well documented prior to the High Middle Ages (1000–1250), the researchers suggested. "Forests are mainly mentioned in the context of royal hunting interests or donations," said Muigg. Dendrochronological studies are particularly important because they can reveal information not captured by a sparse historical record, he added.</p><p>These results were <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-78933-8" target="_blank">published in December in <em>Scientific Reports</em></a>.</p><p>"It's nice to see the longevity and the history of coppice-with-standards," said <a href="https://www.teagasc.ie/contact/staff-directory/s/ian-short/" target="_blank">Ian Short</a>, a forestry researcher at Teagasc, the Agriculture and Food Development Authority in Ireland, not involved in the research. This technique is valuable because it promotes conservation and habitat biodiversity, Short said. "In the next 10 or 20 years, I think we'll see more coppice-with-standards coming back into production."</p><p>In the future, Muigg and his collaborators hope to analyze a larger sample of historic timbers to trace how the coppice-with-standards practice spread throughout Europe. It will be interesting to understand where this technique originated and how it propagated, said Muigg, and there are plenty of old pieces of wood waiting to be analyzed. "There [are] tons of dendrochronological data."</p><p><em><a href="mailto:email@example.com" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Katherine Kornei</a> is a freelance science journalist covering Earth and space science. Her bylines frequently appear in Eos, Science, and The New York Times. Katherine holds a Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of California, Los Angeles.</em></p><p><em>This story originally appeared in <a href="https://eos.org/articles/tree-rings-reveal-how-ancient-forests-were-managed" target="_blank">Eos</a></em> <em>and is republished here as part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.</em></p>
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