Douglas, We Hardly Knew ‘Ye

Douglas brushed the north side of Kaua’i on Sunday night.

If I had to choose one word to describe our experience with Hurricane Douglas it would be anticlimactic. At least that’s how it was here on the south side of Kaua’i.

And, having gone through the force of three hurricanes and typhoons, that was a good thing.

The whole experience though was very, very weird for us. Douglas came right along the north side of the islands, as predicted and on schedule, and brushed along the north shores of Oahu and Kaua’i. At times here though it was very difficult to believe that we were so close to a major storm as for most of the day all we experienced were blue skies, fluffy clouds, light breezes, and minimal humidity. We had a beautiful sunset, even though less than a hour later the eye of the hurricane was less than 65 miles away as it roared past the north shore.

The view out our front door at around 5:45 p.m. We kicked ourselves that we hadn’t gone for a walk as winds were minimal.
Hurricane sunset

We wondered all day what was happening and why we weren’t feeling the storm when it was so close, but finally discovered a live radar feed of the wind patterns and could see that the winds from Douglas had been bearing down from the north all day and splitting into two bands as they hit the top of Kaua’i and flowing down the east and west sides. The mountains in the center of the island blocked the rest of the wind and rain which left the south side of the island sitting in a wedge of calm weather.

It was still a tense day. Based on our former storm experience, where we started feeling strong winds a day or two before a storm’s arrival, Sunday’s calm weather was somewhat unnerving, to say the least. Every time a gust blew through we stiffened and wondered if the storm had finally arrived. It was the same for every cloud we saw off in the distance. In hindsight we could have gone out for our regular afternoon walk, but at the time we were afraid to tempt fate. With a hurricane things can change very rapidly.

We woke up Monday to a very wet and blustery day. The rain eventually stopped, but the winds hung around all day. It’s still VERY windy today.

Douglas’s rain and wind finally arrived a little after 1:00 a.m. Monday morning. Things were quite wet and blustery when we woke up, and stayed that way for most of the morning and into the afternoon as we caught the effects of Douglas’s tail as it moved on. By the late afternoon it was clear enough that we could head to the park for our afternoon walk, although it was very windy and still is today.

Many Kaua’i residents are still around who remember the surprise arrival of Hurricane Iniki in 1992 and the massive destruction it caused all over the island. No one was taking chances with Douglas, and the island prepared for the worst once again this time. Douglas thankfully didn’t come to visit or hang around, but it was a close call.

14 thoughts on “Douglas, We Hardly Knew ‘Ye

  1. So glad to hear that you escaped Douglas! Here in Oregon we really need the rain to keep the tinder dry forests from catching fire.

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    1. It seems like the whole mainland is dry, dry, dry these days, while over here we’ve had loads of rain. I’m ready for it to be over – I want to get back to the beach!

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  2. I’m glad Hawaii was mostly spared.

    Here in Massachusetts it is so awfully hot. And we are in drought conditions or close to it in most of the state. I am jealous of your rain!

    Anon in mass

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    1. I am ready for the rain to disappear for a while, or at least start showing up just at night. I love how green it is here, but it feels like forever since we’ve been able to go to the beach. Hopefully you all will get some rain up your way, and not from a hurricane passing by!

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  3. I was glad to read that you dodged that one! The anticipation is always nerve wracking not knowing what twists and turns it might take. I’m guessing more hurricanes skirt Hawaii than hit it, though? Anyway, it’s great it all turned out well. And I have to say again, what a beautiful island – even on rainy days!

    We have alternated between long dry spells and torrential rains here. Some of the T-storms we’ve gotten look like someone has a hose on our windows. The Great Lakes are really warm this year, which isn’t really a great thing in the long run, although swimmers and boaters love it.

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    1. We did just dodge that hurricane – it was scary looking at the photo and realizing how close it was. Hurricanes are rare here, but they do arrive they can be catastrophic, like Iniki in 1992. It pretty much flattened Kaua’i.

      The weather here this summer has been positively bizarre. We just finished two and a half days of heavy winds following Douglas and now it’s raining! Who knows what we’ll wake up to tomorrow?

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  4. I am glad the hurricane didn’t cause you any damage! I still remember the damage that Hurricane Camille did to my parents farm.

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  5. It’s good that everything passed by without a major impact. It breaks my heart to watch how much destruction and suffering a hurricane can cause, so I am really glad you haven’t experienced that. I just noticed how green your lawn is. There are always trade-offs, isn’t it?
    Here it hasn’t rained in months and we’ve been in high 90s-triple digits for about a month now. We cool down quite well at night though (in the 50s ) and of course, the dry heat is easy to tolerate. My walk however needs to happen early in the morning (6:30-7:00 am) before things heat up. I miss my childhood beach on the Black Sea coast…

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    1. There is a price to pay for all the green we enjoy here – lots of rain! In fact, Mt. Waialeale is the wettest place on earth! But, as I was telling Brett earlier today, I’m happy we live somewhere where we’ll never run out of water!

      I don’t envy those enduring high temperatures now on the mainland. It’s been very cool here at night and in the morning as well. We usually walk though at about 4:30 in the afternoon – it pretty much stays nice though because of the breezes, but there are a couple of places on the trail we walk that can get miserable if the sun is beating down on us.

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  6. Great news that the hurricane was mostly a non-event. The last thing anyone needs on top of a pandemic is a hurricane.

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    1. It looks like a tropical storm is now heading straight for Florida! 2020 just keeps handing out the hits and I for one will be so glad when this year is over!

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