Strong winds force cruise ship to skip Kona
KAILUA-KONA — The cruise ship Pride of America’s scheduled call Wednesday in Kailua-Kona was canceled because of unusual and high winds associated with a weather system to the west.
“The safety and security of our guests is our top priority at all times,” said Vanessa Picariello, senior director of public relations for Norwegian Cruise Line, which owns and operates the ship. “The high winds in Kona today made for unsafe tendering conditions and, therefore, the vessel was unable to make her scheduled call.”
The high winds, coming from the south, are the result of a surface low pressure system centered about 100 miles northwest of Kauai, said Tom Birchard, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Honolulu.
That system already has deluged other parts of the state with rain.
East of that system, Birchard said, is a line of heavy showers and thunderstorms that mostly have affected the islands from Kauai to Maui.
On the Big Island, he said, the primary impact has been to the upper slopes of Mauna Kea.
“Thus far, the amount of rain and precipitation at the lower levels on the Big Island is nowhere near as the amount we’ve seen on the other islands,” he said. “Anytime we have winds out of the south, it’s unusual.”
Many of the harbors and landings are built for trade winds coming from the east. When the wind comes from the south, the sites become exposed, resulting in “weird accelerations in different places.”
For example, at about 2 p.m. Wednesday, he said, sustained winds at Kona International Airport at Keahole were measured at 22 mph with gusts at about 33 mph.
He likened it to places such as Upolu Point and South Point, which typically are windy from easterly trade winds.
“So, Keahole’s kinda become like Upolu or South Point today with this wind direction,” Birchard said. “It’s normally the trades are blasting at Upolu and South Point, now we’ve turned the winds 90 degrees to the south, so they’re accelerating around Cape Kumukahi (in Puna) and in Kona.”
As the weather system moves on, Birchard said, southerly winds remain a concern, having the potential to bring locally gusty winds to the area.
By tonight going into Friday, he said, the winds should greatly decrease.
Email Cameron Miculka at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rules for posting comments
Comments posted below are from readers. In no way do they represent the view of Oahu Publishing Inc. or this newspaper. This is a public forum.
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content but the newspaper is under no obligation to do so. Comment posters are solely responsible under the Communications Decency Act for comments posted on this Web site. Oahu Publishing Inc. is not liable for messages from third parties.
IP and email addresses of persons who post are not treated as confidential records and will be disclosed in response to valid legal process.
Do not post:
- Potentially libelous statements or damaging innuendo.
- Obscene, explicit, or racist language.
- Copyrighted materials of any sort without the express permission of the copyright holder.
- Personal attacks, insults or threats.
- The use of another person's real name to disguise your identity.
- Comments unrelated to the story.
If you believe that a commenter has not followed these guidelines, please click the FLAG icon below the comment.