East Hawaii News

UPDATE 8/2/15: Hurricane Guillermo

August 2, 2015, 8:53 AM HST
* Updated August 2, 11:16 PM
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***Updated at 11:10 p.m. to include information from the Central Pacific Hurricane Center’s 11 p.m. update. ***

As of the Central Pacific Hurricane Center’s 11 p.m. update, Hurricane Guillermo was about 680 miles east-southeast of Hilo, moving in a west-northwest direction at 10 miles per hour.

Central Pacific Hurricane Center image as of 11 p.m. Sunday.

Central Pacific Hurricane Center image as of 11 p.m. Sunday.

Hurricane Guillermo remains a Category 1 hurricane but has seen a drop in its maximum sustained winds. As of the latest CPHC update, the storm’s maximum sustained winds were 75 mph, a drop of 10 mph since 5 p.m. Sunday.

CPHC says watches may begin to be issued beginning Monday.

The storm is expected to weaken over the next couple of days. In addition, a western shift in direction is forecasted.

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Forecasts predict that Hurricane Guillermo will be downgraded to tropical storm status on Monday.

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***Updated at 5:14 p.m. to include information from the Central Pacific Hurricane Center’s 5 p.m. update. ***

Hurricane Guillermo continues its trek across the Central Pacific as a Category 1 hurricane with weakening expected to extend over the next couple of days.

As of the Central Pacific Hurricane Center’s 5 p.m. update, Hurricane Guillermo was about 725 miles to the east-southeast of Hilo, moving in a west-northwest direction at about 10 miles per hour.

Central Pacific Hurricane Center image as of 5 p.m. Sunday.

Central Pacific Hurricane Center image as of 5 p.m. Sunday.

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Hurricane Guillermo continues to move at a consistent pace with wind speeds that have dropped to 85 mph over the past six hours. The storm is expected to continue its movement in a west-northwest direction.

Forecasts predict that large swells will precede Hurricane Guillermo, spreading from east to west over the island chain through Monday. East facing shores are expected to see a steady build that will reach hazardous levels beginning Monday.

The State of Hawai’i’s Emergency Management Agency says that tropical storm winds could arrive as early as 7 a.m. Wednesday, based on a meeting held Sunday with various agencies, including the National Weather Service.

***Updated at 11:08 a.m. to include information from the Central Pacific Hurricane Center’s 11 a.m. update***

National Hurricane Center image as of 11 a.m. Sunday.

National Hurricane Center image as of 11 a.m. Sunday.

The first aircraft from the US 53rd reconnaissance squadron flew through Guillermo to collect data on Hurricane Guillermo this morning. The system has begun to look more ragged and the current intensity has been dropped down a notch to a Category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained winds around 90 mph. The system has also slowed some and is moving west-northwest at 10 mph. Otherwise, the track and general forecast guidance remains unchanged.

**Update based on National Hurricane Center 5 a.m. update**

Hurricane Guillermo is looking a little better organized on satellite this morning. Our stats haven’t changed much since yesterday… Guillermo is still a Category 2 system with maximum sustained winds are at 105 mph, moving WNW at 13 mph and about 840 miles ESE of Hilo. Slower forward motion starting later today or tonight.

National Hurricane Center image as of 5 a.m. Sunday.

National Hurricane Center image as of 5 a.m. Sunday.

The track forecast also has not changed much since yesterday. Through day 3 it’s relatively identical – days 4 and 5 the track has been nudged slightly north. The track also brings Guillermo very close to the Hawaiian Islands from Wednesday through Thursday night. It’s more important to focus on the entire forecast cone and not uniquely on the middle line of the track. Track error 96 hours out is still 200 statute miles, looking 120 hours out it’s up to 300 statute miles. It’s still way too soon to make any definite statements on how exactly Guillermo will affect the state and individual islands. Having said that, we expect widespread rain – mainly windward – and periods of strong winds between Wednesday afternoon and Thursday night.

National Hurricane Center image as of 5 a.m. Sunday.

National Hurricane Center image as of 5 a.m. Sunday.

Also, hurricane force winds extend 30 miles from the center and tropical storm force winds extend 115 miles from the center so it’s always good to remember that even if the center of the storm does not make a direct beeline for the islands impacts can extend well away from the center.

How strong is this thing going to be when it gets to us? For now, all indications are that it will be a weakening tropical storm. In about 48 hours Guillermo is expected to encounter unfavorable conditions and start a weakening trend. Keep in mind, tropical storms can still bring strong winds, heavy rain, destructive surf and flooding.

National Hurricane Center image as of 5 a.m. Sunday.

National Hurricane Center image as of 5 a.m. Sunday.

Later this morning the first aircraft from the US 53rd reconnaissance squadron will fly through Guillermo to collect data and give us a better idea of exactly what’s happening. A NOAA aircraft will also be sampling the environment around Guillermo later today.

No watches or warnings are in effect at this time. However, large waves are expected to steadily build for east shores as Guillermo continues to approach. A High Surf Advisory goes into effect at noon today and could be upgraded to a warning depending on conditions.

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