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Most Popular Big Island Now Articles of 2015

January 5, 2016, 12:18 PM HST
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While severe weather and dengue fever topped our list of most popular articles, 2015 was also a year of celebrating our Hawaiian culture and new opportunities.

Here’s a list of the most popular Big Island Now articles of 2015:

This graphic shows all of the storms that entered the Central Pacific basin in 2015. None of them directly hit the Big Island. NOAA image.

This graphic shows all of the storms that entered the Central Pacific basin in 2015. None of them directly hit the Big Island. NOAA image.

1. 2015 Hurricane Season Sets Records
In 2015, the Big Island and the entire state were spared landfall from any tropical cyclone that entered the Central Pacific region, a feat considering the record amount of storms that formed and the number of close calls that ensued.

File photo, Kua Bay. Jamilia Epping

File photo, Kua Bay. Jamilia Epping

2. Trip Advisor Names Big Island #2 U.S. Island
TripAdvisor regarded the Big Island as “a bit slower… and locals like it that way.” Noting the island’s beauty, TripAdvisor wrote, “The natural beauty and ecological features of the island are a draw for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.”

52nd Merrie Monarch Hula Festival, Miss Aloha Hula, Jasmine Kaleihiwa Dunlap. Merrie Monarch Festival Facebook photo.

52nd Merrie Monarch Hula Festival, Miss Aloha Hula, Jasmine Kaleihiwa Dunlap. Merrie Monarch Festival Facebook photo.

3. 2015 Merrie Monarch Festival
2015 marked the 52nd annual Merrie Monarch Hula Festival, an international hula competition, showing the world Hawaii’s grace, culture, pride and people filled with aloha doing something they love.

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Extreme high sea level events impact vulnerable coastal communities. Credit: M. Ford/ UH Sea Grant.

Extreme high sea level events impact vulnerable coastal communities. Credit: M. Ford/ UH Sea Grant.

4. Study Explores Sea Rise Doubling
A recent study conducted by two scientists at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa’s International Pacific Research Center determined that projected climate change will enhance El Niño-related sea level extremes. Results showed that by the end of the century, the experiments will show intensified wind impacts of El Niño and La Nina events, which are likely to double the frequency of extreme sea level occurrences, especially in the tropical southwestern Pacific.

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A total lunar eclipse as seen from Washington in 2004. US Navy photo.

A total lunar eclipse as seen from Washington in 2004. US Navy photo.

5. Shortest Total Lunar Eclipse of Century
This event happened to be the third in a series of four total lunar eclipses in a row called a tetrad. The first two occurred in 2014 on April 14th and October 7th. The fourth and final total eclipse is expected on September of this year. Unfortunately, this event will not be visible from the Hawaiian Islands. This phenomenon of four successive lunar eclipses has only occurred twice in the last 100 years.

The unidentified object found at Kua Bay on Jan. 2. Photo credit: DLNR

The unidentified object found at Kua Bay on Jan. 2. Photo credit: DLNR

6. Unidentified Object Prompts Kua Bay Closure
The Kekaha Kai section of Kua Bay saw a temporary closure by officers from the Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement and staff from the DLNR Division of State Parks after an unidentified object was found in the water. The bay was later re-opened after confirming the object was a mooring.

An Aedes aegypti mosquito is pictured here. The mosquito is one of two in Hawai'i known to spread the dengue virus. Hawai'i Department of Health photo.

An Aedes aegypti mosquito is pictured here. The mosquito is one of two in Hawai’i known to spread the dengue virus. Hawai’i Department of Health photo.

7.Dengue Fever Map Highlights Affected Areas
A number of confirmed cases have been found in many portions of West Hawai’i, stretching from just above Kailua-Kona down to Ho’okena. Cases have also been confirmed in portions of East Hawai’i, as well as in Na’alehu.

  • DOH Investigates Possible Big Island Dengue Fever Cases
  • Dengue Fever Cases Reach 149
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    Photo: Chris Yoakum

    Photo: Chris Yoakum

    8. Mauna Kea & Mauna Loa Snow
    There were several “snow days” on the summit of Mauna Kea this year. Big Island Now got photos of the snow flurries which occurred in mid-March.

    Lee Ann Ragasa and Beverly Yates-Tese. Photo credit: Jamilia Epping.

    Lee Ann Ragasa and Beverly Yates-Tese. Photo credit: Jamilia Epping.

    9. Concerned Parents Look to Take Back Lincoln Park
    A bright, summer day is usually meant to be an inviting scene for kids and their parents or friends to spend time outside and enjoy the outdoors. Some adults, however, don’t see the same thing at Hilo’s Lincoln Park. They blame what they call “graphic and violent images” for keeping kids and families away from the park. As many as 20 people at a time gathered in front of Lincoln Park to draw attention away from the questionable signs and raise hope in restoring a playful environment.

    Jason Momoa. Mauna Kea Hui of  Protector's photo.

    Jason Momoa. Mauna Kea Hui of Protector’s photo.

    10. Mauna Kea Hui of Protectors Gain Support
    Mauna Kea Hui of Protectors were joined by Hollywood actors Jason Momoa and Kala Alexandra as they demonstrated against the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope. In addition, world-renowned surfer Dustin Barca joined the group of demonstrators on Mauna Kea. He was among those arrested earlier that week.

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