Fire and Rain: The Legacy of Hurricane Lane in Hawai'i

Author
Alison D. Nugent, Ryan J. Longman, Clay Trauernicht, Matthew P. Lucas, Henry F. Diaz, Thomas W. Giambelluca
Content Type
Commentary and Analysis
Institution
East-West Center
Abstract
Hurricane Lane, which struck the Hawaiian islands on 22–25 August 2018, presented a textbook example of the compounding hazards that can be produced by a single storm. Over a four-day period, the island of Hawaiʻi received an average 17 inches of rainfall. One location received 57 inches, making Hurricane Lane the wettest tropical storm ever recorded in the state and the second wettest ever recorded in the US. At the same time, three wildfires on the island of Maui and one on Oʻahu burned nearly 3,000 acres of abandoned agricultural land. As the global climate warms, the number and strength of hurricanes is expected to increase, both in Hawaiʻi and in the Pacific region generally. A better understanding of the relationship between hurricanes and global climate change is critical in order to predict the vulnerability of people and resources during a severe weather event and to plan an appropriate course of action.
Topic
Climate Change, Natural Disasters, Natural Resources, Crisis Management
Political Geography
North America, Asia-Pacific, Hawaii