8 P.M. UPDATE: Ana Strengthens as Path Still Uncertain
The latest update on Tropical Storm Ana was just released by the Central Pacific Hurricane Center at 8 p.m. Thursday. A tropical storm warning has been issued for leeward and southeast waters of the Big Island. The National Weather Service urges the public to not let their guard down just because Maui County and the Big Island are no longer in the cone of error. There is still a great deal of uncertainty with the track, which is why all of the alerts listed below still stand. Having said that, the statistical chance of tropical storm conditions has continued to decrease for all areas under the tropical storm watch.
Summary of Alerts
HURRICANE WARNING – Posted for all Hawaiian Offshore Waters starting Friday afternoon.
TROPICAL STORM WARNING – For all Hawaiian Offshore Waters, Big Island leeward coastal waters, and Big Island southeast waters.
TROPICAL STORM WATCH – In effect for Hawaii County, Maui County Leeward Waters, and Parts of Alenuihaha Channel.
FLASH FLOOD WATCH – Still posted for the entire state beginning Friday at noon.
Tropical Storm Ana currently has maximum sustained winds at 65 mph
Ana is moving west-northwest at 12 mph, and tropical storm force winds are extending 60 miles from the center of the system
Tropical Storm Ana was last located near 14.9 N and 152.5 W, about 370 miles south-southeast of Hilo; 405 miles southeast of Kailua-Kona; and 350 miles southeast of South Point.
A weak high pressure ridge to the north of the state that has been steering the storm is weakening and Ana has started to turn west-northwest, possibly becoming a hurricane on Friday. Increased wind shear will weaken Ana back down to tropical storm status either Friday night or Saturday.
Forecast & Uncertainty
The current track has Ana passing 120 miles southwest of the island of Hawai’i Friday night and south of Maui County Saturday. Though the island of Hawai’i and Maui County are no longer in the cone of uncertainty, keep in mind that the center of the storm could fall along the upper edge, and if that happens, the storm could still have potentially serious impacts. Oahu, Kauai, and Ni’ihau are all still within the cone of uncertainty.
The probability of tropical storm conditions is 15 percent in Hilo; 28 percent in Kailua-Kona, and 37 percent near South Point.
Potential Impacts (if the track holds)
There is still plenty of uncertainty on the forecast track. Heavy rain may reach the Big Island late Friday, potentially causing dangerous flash flooding with excessive runoff and causing possible mud slides and rock slides. Flooding is possible statewide, and the National Weather Service is issuing a flash flood watch for the entire state tomorrow at noon.
Large and dangerous surf conditions are expected to begin impacting the eastern end of the Hawaiian islands, spreading westward through the weekend. Additional storm surge of 1 -2 feet for southeastern shores is forecast.
Increasing winds could reach 30 mph with gusts up to 50 mph as the center of Ana passes.
The projected Big Island forecast calls for 6 to 8 inches of rain with up to 12 inches locally along southeast facing slopes beginning Friday afternoon.
Winds of 25 to 40mph, gusting to 50 mph, are possible Friday and Saturday.
Seas of 15 to 25 feet are in the forecast. Surf heights up to 20 feet are possible late Friday along the Puna & Kau coastlines during the closest approach. Elevated surf of up to 12 feet is possible along the Kona coasts Saturday.