Jimena Remains Far East, Weakening
By: Jamilia Epping
The Central Pacific Hurricane Center reported early Saturday morning that Hurricane Jimena is not expected to hold onto its hurricane strength for much longer, with predictions that the storm will be downgraded to a tropical storm in the near future.
As of 5 a.m., Hurricane Jimena was about 570 miles east of Hilo as it moved in a northwest direction at 7 miles per hour. The storm was holding maximum sustained winds of 80 mph, as of the morning update.
CPHC officials say that Hurricane Jimena is expected to continue on its current path, but that a somewhat complex steering flow is controlling the storm.
Data has made it appear the Hurricane Jimena strengthened briefly during the past night, however, CPHC has noted that more recent observations indicate that a weakening trend is taking place faster than it was originally expected.
Forecasters predict that the overall weakening that would lead to a drop in storm status should take place by Saturday night.
As Hurricane Jimena remains far to the east of the state, surf and large swells are still expected to bring impact to the islands. Large and powerful swells are forecast to bring hazardous and potentially damaging surf throughout the weekend, with special focus on east facing shores.