Tropical Storm Ela Moving Farther from Island Chain
The storm formerly known as Tropical Depression Four-E has gained enough strength to reach tropical storm status, according to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center in its 11 p.m. update Wednesday.
Tropical Storm Ela, is located 650 miles east of Hilo and moving to the northwest at 12 miles per hour. This current pattern is expected to keep the storm from directly impacting the Big Island, but is still forecast to cut off the current tradewind pattern, bringing muggy and uncomfortable conditions to the islands by this weekend.
A southwestern shear pattern is helping to keep this storm from gaining further strength and speed. Forecasters say that the shear is slowly breaking apart the storm system.
Ela currently holds maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour and is expected to hold on to its current wind speeds for the next 24 hours before gradually decreasing, potentially returning to tropical depression status.
There are no watches or warnings posted for the islands. Hawai’i County Civil Defense announced earlier Wednesday that it is working closely with the National Weather Service, but will not be issuing any additional public messages unless conditions change.