East Hawaii News

UPDATE: Hilda Slows Down to a Crawl

August 11, 2015, 5:34 AM HST
* Updated August 11, 11:29 PM
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***Updated at 11:15 p.m. to include information from the Central Pacific Hurricane Center’s 11 p.m. advisory.***

By: Jamilia Epping

Tropical Storm Hilda was moving at a speed of two miles per hour and was about 280 miles southeast of Hilo, as of the Central Pacific Hurricane Center’s 11 p.m. update.

Storm movement picked up slightly since the 8 p.m. advisory, up to 2 mph in a west-northwest direction and is expected to pick up in pace slightly and begin to turn to the west over the next couple of days.

Maximum sustained winds for Tropical Storm Hilda have dropped by 5 mph since 8 p.m. Tuesday. Wind strength is currently 60 mph with higher gusts.

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Forecasts predict that Tropical Storm Hilda will be downgraded to a tropical depression by Thursday.

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As Tropical Storm Hilda nears the Big Island, gentle to moderate trade winds are anticipated to continue. An upper low north of Hawai’i is forecast to enhance some of the low level moisture over the area. This may bring localized heavy rain and a slight chance of thunderstorms to the islands Wednesday. Widespread rain over the Big Island is expected to be brought in by Tropical Storm Hilda.

***Updated at 8:00 p.m. to include the latest CPHC update.***

By Meteorologist Malika Dudley / Email: [email protected]

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Tropical Storm Hilda has maintained its strength with 65 mph maximum sustained winds. However, the system has slowed down to a crawl and is moving just 1 mph in a westerly direction.

Image: NOAA / NWS

Image: NOAA / NWS

With the broad moisture field associated with Hilda, the slower it passes by the state, the more moisture we could potentially get. Hilda is expected to speed up some tonight and  continue the next couple of days. But the system is still expected to be moving rather slowly.

The cumulative chance for tropical storm conditions at this time ranges from 2 to 6 percent. This represents a general downward trend since the last forecast.

The rainfall and other forecasts remain the same and all weather alerts remain posted at this time. The image above shows the National Weather Service’s forecast for tomorrow afternoon. Click to enlarge.

CPHC 5 pm track

CPHC 5 pm track

***Updated at 5:00 p.m. to include the latest CPHC update.***

By Meteorologist Malika Dudley / Email: [email protected]

As of the 5:00 p.m. Central Pacific Hurricane Center update, Hilda has maximum sustained winds near 65 mph and continues its weakening trend. Our strong westerly winds are really taking their toll on Hilda and tearing the system apart. Hilda should weaken to a tropical depression Wednesday night or Thursday and become a remnant low by Friday afternoon.

The system, located 265 miles SE of Hilo, 315 miles SE of Kailua-Kona and 265 miles ESE of South Point, is moving west near 5 mph and this general motion is expected to continue over the next couple of days.

Gentle to moderate trade winds are expected to continue as tropical storm Hilda slowly nears the Big Island over the next 24 to 30 hours. An upper low remains north of the state and will enhance some of the low level moisture over the area producing some localized heavy rain and a slight chance of thunderstorms Wednesday. Hilda is expected to bring widespread rain across the Big Island, with some rain expected for the smaller islands.

All weather alerts are still in place (see below for details).

***Updated at 2:00 p.m. to include the latest CPHC update.***

By Meteorologist Malika Dudley / Email: [email protected]

Hilda has weakened to a tropical storm. Maximum sustained winds are now at 70 mph, making it a strong tropical storm at this time. The system is moving W at 6 mph and tropical storm force winds now extend 85 miles from the center.

All forecast guidance remains unchanged and all weather alerts listed below are still in effect. The Hurricane Warning is now a Tropical Storm Warning.

Heavy rain, thunderstorms and possible flooding conditions are still possible along Hilda’s track and to the north of it. We will keep an eye on Hilda and bring you the latest.

Central Pacific Hurricane Center image, as of 11 a.m.

Central Pacific Hurricane Center image, as of 11 a.m.

***Updated at 11:20 a.m. to include information from the Central Pacific Hurricane Center’s 11 a.m. update.***

By: Jamilia Epping

As of 11 a.m., Hurricane Hilda was located about 280 miles to the southeast of Hilo and has taken a southern turn since initial updates on Monday.

Hurricane Hilda has held its wind strength since 8 a.m. with maximum sustained winds at 75 miles per hour, moving in a west direction at a slightly weakened speed of 5 mph.

CPHC forecasts that the current track will hold over the next couple of days as it nears the Big Island as a suspected tropical storm.

Satellite imagery shows Hurricane Hilda degrading in appearance since the 8 a.m. advisory. Storm chasers aboard the United States 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Aircraft confirmed after their Tuesday morning flight that vertical wind shear in a western direction is impacting the storm and causing weakening.

A steady weakening of the storm is expected over the next couple of days. U.S. Air Force Hurricane Hunters are expected to take another flying mission Tuesday evening to gather additional information to bring clarity to Hurricane Hilda’s track and intensity.

The Big Island remains under a Tropical Storm Watch, as well as a High Surf Warning for East facing shores.

Large swells being produced by Hurricane Hilda will bring large surf with dangerous conditions to east and southeast facing shores.

Rain is expected as Hurricane Hilda nears. Forecasts predict between six and 12 inches of rain, with up to 18 inches in some areas. Flash floods and mud slides are possiblities with high rainfall.

The cumulative chance for tropical storm conditions at this time ranges from 8 to 22 percent. This represents a general downward trend since the last forecast. Rainfall chances remain elevated with 6 – 12 inches still possible. Up to 18 inches are possible in mountainous terrain.

Although changes are still possible, the latest forecast is for sustained winds on the Big Island to remain below tropical storm force of 39 mph. Strongest winds will accompany Hilda’s closest approach to the Big Island from Wednesday night through Thursday night. There is the possibility of minor wind damage.

***Updated at 9:30 a.m. to include the latest forecast for the Big Island.***

By Meteorologist Malika Dudley / Email: [email protected]

A Flash Flood Watch has been issued for the Big Island. This watch goes into effect at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday through 6:00 a.m. Saturday. Abundant moisture from weakening Hilda is expected to produce the potential for excessive runoff, rock/mudslides and fast-moving water that could create life-threatening situations.

The National Weather Service has released it’s current rainfall projections for the Big Island. Total rainfall projections are currently between 6 to 12 inches with possible maximum totals up to a foot and a half. Very heavy rain is expected to arrive Thursday and continue into Friday. This type of rain can cause flash flooding and mudslides.

If the latest track and intensity remains true, the forecast calls for a 16 to 29 percent chance of tropical storm conditions. Portions of the island could also see tropical storm force winds of 39 mph or more from Thursday morning to Thursday afternoon.

***Updated at 8:15 a.m. to include information from the Central Pacific Hurricane Center’s 8 a.m. outlook.***

By: Jamilia Epping

Hurricane Hilda continues to be tracked as it eases its way towards the Big Island. The Central Pacific Hurricane Center’s 8 a.m. outlook shows continued weakening with a drop in wind speeds to 75 miles per hour as the storm travels at about 7 mph.

Central Pacific Hurricane Center image, as of 5 a.m.

Central Pacific Hurricane Center image, as of 5 a.m.

CPHC reports that Hurricane Hilda was 295 miles southeast of Hilo and the general west-northwest direction that the storm is currently running on is expected to continue into Thursday.

Hurricane Hilda is expected to continue to weaken over the next 48 hours and become a Tropical Storm at some point Tuesday. Hurricane force winds are extending up to 25 miles from the center of Hilda, while tropical storm force winds are extending up to 70 miles from the center.

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for the entire Big Island. Under a Tropical Storm Watch, tropical storm conditions are possible within a time frame of 48 hours.

***Updated at 5 a.m. with information from the National Weather Service and Central Pacific Hurricane Center’s 5 a.m. statements.***

By Meteorologist Malika Dudley / Email: Malika[email protected]

As of the 5:00 a.m. Central Pacific Hurricane Center update, Hilda has maximum sustained winds at 85 mph and remains a Category 1 hurricane. The system is weakening and expected to become a tropical storm by tonight as winds dip below 75 mph. A slew of new weather alerts have been posted by the National Weather Service. See the link at the bottom of this post for your daily weather report and a list of those alerts.

NWS Meteorologist, Bob Ballard, in a social media post Monday night stated, “Very concerned about the 5 day total rainfall amounts the guidance is showing for the Big Island from Hilda. If they’re right, it could be BIG problems. It’s not a guarantee yet, but Big Islanders, you should seriously be getting ready for the possibility of major rains later this week. We could be measuring the rainfall in feet rather than inches.”

NWS Satellite Hilda 5 a.m.

NWS Satellite Hilda 5 a.m.

On satellite Hilda looks a little more ragged and you can actually see how strong westerly winds are beginning to slowly shred it apart.

Models are having a hard time with regard to Hilda’s track and intensity largely driven by a disagreement between the models on the amount of convection (the strength) Hilda will still have as it continues to approach. Uncertainty on that front has led to the issuance of a Tropical Storm Watch for the Big Island (details at link below). The strength of the system is also a driving factor for the systems track. If the system goes against current guidance and retains its strength it will be steered north of the current track and if it continues to weaken it is expected to veer westward.

The storm, located 325 miles ESE of Bradshaw, 290 miles ESE of Hilo and 350 miles ESE of Kailua-Kona, is moving NW near 7 mph and this general motion is expected to continue into Thursday.

Hurricane force winds extend 25 miles from the center and tropical storm force winds extend up to 70 miles from the center.

Tropical Storm Watch  / High Surf Warning issued for Big Island at 5 a.m.

Tropical Storm Watch / High Surf Warning issued for Big Island at 5 a.m.

Although Hilda is a compact tropical cyclone, the low level moisture field surrounding the system is pretty broad. This means islands to the east of the track could see an increase in shower activity even if Hilda is several hundred miles away. In fact, we could start to see moisture on the edge of the system begin to affect the Big Island as early as today. The latest Hydrologic Outlook released by the National Weather Service warns of heavy rain, thunderstorms and flooding conditions possible as early as Wednesday night.

The National Weather Service also warns that regardless of the system’s strength, the potential for very heavy rainfall exists for the entire state. Details on timing, location and amount of rainfall are highly dependent on the eventual track Hilda takes. If the system continues on its current track, the entire state will be exposed to the wetter northeast side of the system (as compared with Guillermo which went north and exposed the islands to the less wet southern side of the storm).

***For your complete daily forecast and a list of the current watches / advisories / warnings in effect for the Big Island, click here.***

***Click here for your ocean and surf condition report for today.***

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