East Hawaii News

Central Pacific Storm Ela Downgraded to a Depression

July 9, 2015, 5:21 PM HST
* Updated July 9, 5:48 PM
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The Central Pacific Hurricane Center has reclassified Ela as a tropical depression. Ela became a tropical storm overnight Wednesday and into Thursday, but weakened winds downgraded the storm, as of CPHC’s 5 p.m. update.

Ela is currently 515 miles to the east-northeast of Hilo and continues to track to the northeast of the island chain. It is expected to weaken as it passes over the weekend.

Maximum winds are at 35 miles per hour and the system is moving in a northwest direction at a rate of about 12 mph.

CPHC forecasts that trade winds will remain moderate through Friday. Muggy weather is predicted over the weekend as the storm passes. There is the potential for locally heavy showers and thunderstorms beginning Saturday afternoon through Sunday night.

Surf along south facing shores has been given a boost due to a reinforcing southwest swell. The surf is expected to stay below advisory levels. Ela is expected to provide a short-period swell that will produce high surf along east facing shores, beginning Friday morning and lasting through Saturday night. A high surf advisory has been issued.

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The United States Coast Guard wants to remind the public that upcoming weather has the possibility to generate extreme sea conditions and high surf as the storm passes.

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Those planning on being out on or in the water are advised to monitor the progress and strength of the storm and heed all warnings.

Boaters can monitor the storm on VHF channel 16.

Anyone planning on being in or near the water should abide by all warnings from lifeguards and public health and safety officials. The Coast Guard reminds the public that despite weather conditions, rip tides and high surf can impact beaches ahead of any actual storm. Even experience swimmers can potentially fall victim to strong waves and currents that may be caused by the storm.

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