East Hawaii News

FRIDAY 5 A.M. UPDATE: Hurricane Conditions Unlikely for Ana

October 17, 2014, 5:35 AM HST
* Updated October 17, 6:55 AM
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The latest update on Tropical Storm Ana was just released by the Central Pacific Hurricane Center. It is unlikely that any of the islands will experience hurricane conditions. There’s still a chance, of course, but it’s statistically very small. The track is relatively unchanged, however, the island of Kauai is no longer in the cone of uncertainty. Intensity holds at 70 mph maximum sustained winds but Ana is slightly more expansive than at last check. No change to the alerts that are currently posted.

It’s becoming quite apparent on radar just how big this system is when compared to our land masses in the Hawaiian islands. Slight deviations to the right could have significant negative impacts on the effects we see to our island weather. Slight deviations to the left could similarly have a positive effect on our weather. Closely monitoring the system and the impending conditions as Ana continues to approach is a smart idea.

Summary of Alerts:

HURRICANE WARNING – Will be posted for all Hawaiian Offshore Waters starting Friday afternoon

TROPICAL STORM WARNING – In effect for all Hawaiian Offshore Waters. Big Island leeward coastal waters, and Big Island southeast waters

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TROPICAL STORM WATCH – Currently posted for Hawai’i County, Maui County Leeward Waters, and parts of Alenuihaha Channel.

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FLASH FLOOD WATCH – Will start up at noon for the Big Island and possibly the entire state.

Current situation

Tropical Storm Ana currenty has maximum sustained winds are at 70 mph with gusts up to 87 mph. Ana is moving west-northwest at 14 mph.

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Tropical storm force winds extend 80 miles from the center of the system.

The center of Tropical Storm Ana was last located near 15.7 N and 154.2 W, about 280 miles south-southeast of Hilo; 385 miles southeast of Kahului, Maui; 420 miles southeast of Kaunakakai, Molokaʻi; 395 miles southeast of Lānaʻi City; and 455 miles southeast of Honolulu, Oʻahu.

Briefly overnight, we saw glimpses of an eye forming within ANA but that was short-lived as wind shear kept that from developing fully. Having said that, the system appears to be close to hurricane strength at just a few mph below the threshold of 74 mph. Slow strengthening is expected through this evening but wind shear is expected to prevent ANA from rapidly intensifying.

ANA is expected to get nudged slightly northwest later today or early Saturday. A new ridge is expected to form north of our islands just as ANA would be approaching Oahu and Kauai. If the forecast holds true, this would help to slow the forward motion of the system (not so good – increased flooding potential) and steer it west (good – away from the islands).

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, Maui County, Oahu, and Kauai are no longer in the cone of uncertainty, keep in mind the center of the storm could fall along the upper edge, and if that happens, the storm could still have potentially serious impacts.

The probability of tropical storm conditions continues a gradual downward trend. For Maui leeward waters, 43 percent; 9 percent in Hilo; 21 percent in Kailua-Kona and 27 percent near South Point.

Potential Impacts:

Heavy rain and thunderstorms are expected for the Big Island today, potentially causing dangerous flash flooding with excessive runoff and causing possible mud slides and rock slides in steep terrain. Flooding is possible statewide and the National Weather Service is anticipating the issuance of a flash flood watch for the entire state today at noon. These heavy rain conditions are likely to sweep up the island chain from east to west through this weekend.

Large dangerous surf conditions will impact the eastern end of the Hawaiian islands, spreading westward through the weekend as well. Additional storm surge of 1 -2 feet for southeastern shores is likely.

Winds are expected to increase to 35 mph. Gusts could reach 50 mph or more as the center of Ana passes. Highest winds will befelt  through mountainous terrain, valleys, and passes.

For the full Big Island weather forecast, click here. 

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