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Weekend Weather Watching
There was stormy weather over Hawaii on Friday night, which is unremarkable in the winter months. And living in Mililani, in central Oʻahu, we're usually far removed from many of the most common natural disasters. But Mother Nature can surprise you, and this time our neighborhood saw some of the weekend's stronger winds.
One of the things I love about Mililani is its ample green space, but the greenery definitely took a beating. With wind gusts of over 50 miles per hour, garbage bins went tumbling down the street and window screens were pulled off my neighbors' windows. Even walking around a day later, there were downed trees on every other block, and snapped branches everywhere.
I wasn't the only Mililani resident to observe that the weekend storm hit us harder than the last several tropical storms to roll through the state.
Still, the crazy weather gave me a chance to be a disaster preparedness geek again. I fired up my ham radios (a UHF handheld and a VHF mobile deck loaned to me by Ron Hashiro) to monitor Skywarn reports, and heard more than a few of my neighbors check in. And I followed the stream of weather reports on Twitter (#hiwx my preferred hashtag), and was impressed to see Hawaiian Electric (@HwnElectric) responding to #oahuoutage reports.
There was a fair amount of property damage across the state, and some neighborhoods are still without electricity, but the good news is there were no major injuries.
And now I kind of want to get a weather station so I can submit more complete Skywarn reports. I always strive to be a better weather geek, after all. The fact that it would involve setting up yet another cool looking gadget is the icing on the cake.
You can become a volunteer Skywarn Spotter, too, by the way. Find more information at the Hawaii Skywarn Page, and watch for upcoming classes.