Last updated: 11:24 AM ET, Thu September 01 2016

Hawaii Awaits the Potential Arrival of Hurricane Lester

Impacting Travel | Patrick Clarke | September 01, 2016

Hawaii Awaits the Potential Arrival of Hurricane Lester

Photo courtesy of Twitter  

Tropical storm warnings have been dropped in Hawaii as Tropical Storm Madeline moves away from the state. However, Hawaii and its visitors must now prepare for the potential arrival of Hurricane Lester this holiday weekend.

The Honolulu Star Advertiser reported Thursday that Madeline continues to move away from the Aloha State, but while expected to weaken in the coming days, Lester—once a Category 4 hurricane; now a Category 2—has the potential to bring hurricane-force winds to the Hawaiian islands this weekend, according to

The specific impacts in terms of wind, rain and storm surge remain to be seen given the storm's uncertain path.

In the meantime, travelers with plans to visit Hawaii this weekend should familiarize themselves with their airline's and hotel's cancellation or change policies as well as monitor their flight status extremely closely.

Since it's too early to know the exact threat Lester poses to Hawaii, travelers will likely have to wait to learn of any adjusted policies from their travel suppliers. For those who haven't yet purchased a travel insurance policy, it's likely too late since the weather system has already been named.

Hawaiian Airlines announced this week that it would waive change fees for flights to and from the Big Island amid Madeline's passing for tickets issued on or before Aug. 30 for flights scheduled for Aug. 31 and Sept. 1. Hawaiian and other carriers are likely to issue similar waivers if Lester is to make landfall.

Currently, air travel to and from Hawaii appears to be operating smoothly as shows a majority of the flights departing and arriving Honolulu International Airport are doing so on time.

It's worth noting that President Barack Obama was in Hawaii this week to address the 2016 Pacific Islands Conference of Leaders. However, the Commander in Chief was scheduled to depart Honolulu for Midway Atoll prior to Lester's potential arrival.

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