Oahu is now under a hurricane watch along with the Big Island and Maui County as Douglas continues its march toward the state as a major category 3 storm.

A hurricane watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within 36 to 48 hours.

At 5 p.m. Friday, Douglas was located about 665 miles east-southeast of Hilo or 865 miles east-southeast of Honolulu and packing maximum sustained winds near 115 mph with higher gusts.

A hurricane watch has been issued for Oahu, Maui and the Big Island. Courtesy: NWS

The hurricane was moving west-northwest near 18 mph.

On its current forecast track, the state will start feeling the impacts of Douglas late Saturday into Sunday. It’s expected to pass near or over parts of the state at hurricane strength or just below.

Here’s the anticipated timing of impacts from the storm:

  • Hurricane-strength winds are possible for parts of the Big Island and Maui starting late Saturday into Sunday. Winds could be at tropical storm strength earlier Saturday. Oahu could see tropical force-strength winds Sunday and hurricane force winds Sunday night.
  • Large swells will start impacting parts of the state Saturday.
  • Drenching rains could begin late Saturday and continue through Monday for significant portions of the state. Total rain accumulations of 6 to 15 inches are possible in some areas and could result in “life-threatening flash flooding and landslides,” forecasters warned.

Meteorologist Bob Ballard, of the Central Pacific Hurricane Center, said Maui County or the Big Island are likely to experience the effects first — but the entire state will be impacted to some degree.

The impacts on the state will depend on the storm’s track and how strong it is when it nears the state.

“We’ll have to really be on our toes. Little changes in that track …. could be the big difference,” Ballard said. “Either way, though, Douglas is going to be a big enough system that I think almost everybody’s going to get some pretty serious weather from this.”

“The weather might be pretty nice, and then go downhill really quickly, so you’re going to have to be aware of those conditions and stay out of flood-prone areas as Douglas gets close.”

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles from the center of the storm, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 105 miles.

Forecasters say Douglas will follow a west-northwest track for the next few days and then turn to the west as it nears the Hawaiian Islands. It is gradually weakening over cooler waters.

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