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Flood Watch Message for Friday, April 20 at 9:30 AM

This is a Flood Watch update for Friday, April 20 at 9:30 AM.

The National Weather Service Flood Watch continues for Hawaii Island through today.  If conditions materialize, heavy rainfall and thunderstorms are possible.

In addition, the Winter Storm Warning for the summit areas continues through today. Winter weather conditions, including the possibility of strong winds are expected above 12,000 foot elevation.

Due to the Flood Watch and Storm Warning, the following are issued:

  • Should heavy rainfall occur, residents in flood-prone areas are advised to be on the alert for possible flooding.
  • Motorists are urged to exercise caution while driving.
  • Although the possibility of thunderstorms are not likely, if lightning threatens your area, the safest place to be is indoors.
  • For current road conditions at Mauna Kea summit, call (808) 935-6268.

You will be updated if conditions change.

Thank you. Have a safe day. This is your Hawai’i County Civil Defense Agency.


What You Can Do to be Storm Ready

Monitor the status of the Hurricane: For your information and planning, monitor the following link for up-to-date information about weather hazards at

During a tropical storm:

Avoid walking or driving through flood waters.
Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and fast-moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
Be extra careful when walking outside.
Storm damage such as downed power lines and fallen debris could injure you.

6 hours before arrival:
Close storm shutters if possible and stay away from windows.
Flying glass from broken windows could injure you.
Turn your refrigerator or freezer to the coldest setting and open only when necessary.
If you lose power, food will last longer.

6 to 12 hours before arrival:
Turn on your TV/radio, or check your local government’s website frequently.
You’ll get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
Charge your phone.
You’ll have a full battery if you lose power.

12 to 36 hours before arrival:
Bring in outdoor furniture and other items that could blow away.
These may become a safety hazard.
Bookmark your local government’s website.
This gives you quick access to storm updates and emergency instructions.

36 to 48 hours before arrival:
Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit.
Include a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
Plan how to communicate with family members if you lose power.
For example, you can use phone, text, social media, or email.
Create an evacuation plan with your family.
You may have to leave quickly.


Living with Vog on an Active Volcano

Release Date: AUGUST 18, 2016

New informational products about the health hazards of volcanic air pollution known as “vog,” are available through a new interagency partnership.

The products include a booklet of frequently asked questions, a brochure and poster about protecting yourself during vog episodes and a web-based “dashboard” that provides comprehensive links to a wide range of vog resources, including vog forecasts and air-quality information.

Communities downwind from Kīlauea Volcano’s active vents frequently experience vog as a visible haze or as a sulfurous smell or taste. People exposed to vog report a variety of symptoms, such as eye irritation, coughing, wheezing, sore throats and headaches. The new products were co-developed by U.S. Geological Survey scientists Tamar Elias and Jeff Sutton at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, John Peard and other officials at the Hawaii Department of Health, and Claire Horwell from Durham University in the United Kingdom, with participation by Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense and other agencies.

Peard, with Hawaii DOH said, “The diverse partnership has allowed us to develop new, consistent products that more fully address the needs of the community.”

“The products offer advice on vog protection measures, such as staying indoors, limiting physical activity, and staying hydrated when vog levels are high. Providing relevant, up-to-date information to a population living with decades of an ongoing volcanic eruption may help people to better cope with the frequent vog conditions,” said Horwell.

The new, mobile-friendly vog dashboard is hosted by the International Volcanic Health Hazard Network, a clearinghouse for information on the health impacts of volcanic eruptions. All of the new Hawaiʻi vog products are available online, and are accessible through the dashboard.

Vog, the pollution formed from acidic gases and particles released by active volcanoes, is composed primarily of sulfur dioxide (SO2) gas and its oxidation products, such as sulfate aerosol.  Sulfur dioxide from Kīlauea Volcano, now in its 34th year of nearly continuous eruption, leads to the vog that challenges communities, agriculture, and infrastructure on the Island of Hawai‘i and across the state. Scientists at USGS HVO regularly monitor the quantity and composition of gases released from Kīlauea. Among other things, HVO data are used as input for vog models that forecast the volcanic plume dispersion and vog locations.

Horwell’s previous study in 2015, investigated how Hawaiian communities perceive vog, how they protect themselves, and their preferences for receiving advice. The results from the study support the need for consistent online advice from all federal, state and local agencies; increased access to web- and non-web-based information on vog exposure and protection; and updated guidance on how to access resources about vog. HVO’s long involvement in vog studies, coupled with the community studies about perception and needs, led to the development of the new vog informational products.

For more information about Kīlauea Volcano’s ongoing eruptions, please visit HVO’s website, or network with others on the ‘Vog Talk’ Facebook group.


White gas plume rising straight up from Kilauea Volcano summit with distant, bright, full moon.
With stagnant winds present, the plume from Halema`uma`u Crater at the summit of Kilauea Volcano, stands straight up, showing off the distant, but bright, full moon. credit: Michael Poland, U.S. Geological Survey, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
scientist with camera and spectrometer at the edge of smoking volcanic crater.
USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geochemist measuring gases released from Kïlauea with a Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometer, an instrument that detects gas compositions on the basis of absorbed infrared light. credit: Janet Babb, U.S. Geological Survey, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory


Janet Babb

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
Phone: 808-967-8844
USGS, Public Affairs
Western States Communications
Phone: 650-329-4006