Running a research lab in the tropics presents some unique challenges. Over these first few years in Honolulu, this has been a process of discovery that ranges from amusing (geckos invading the office) to annoying (condensation accumulating in computers). We have a new challenge this weekend: Hurricanes (plural).
At present, we have two hurricanes coming our way. The forecast indicates that Hurricane Iselle will hit the Big Island squarely later today and then track toward us on Oahu as a tropical storm early tomorrow morning. Then two days later, Hurricane Julio will track through the Islands (again, hopefully having weakened to a tropical storm). We’ll be keeping a close eye on our backup power for the -80 freezer, and probably just shut down the cluster before closing the lab this evening. Our hope is that Oahu will ‘thread the needle’ with Iselle tracking just south and Julio tracking just north as the forecasts are currently saying is possible, but nevertheless it’s going to be a dicey weekend.
Update from 11 August: Iselle hit the Big Island squarely, causing some damage. This took much of the strength out of the storm, however, and we experienced only a small period of heavy rain and wind on Oahu. Julio is still a hurricane, but turned well north of the islands and missed us completely. Phew!