East Hawaii News

5 am UPDATE: Niala Weakens, Flood Threat Remains High

September 26, 2015, 7:17 AM HST
* Updated September 27, 8:52 AM
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***Updated with information from the 5 a.m. Central Pacific Hurricane Center bulletin.***

By Meteorologist Malika Dudley

Niala is expected to continue to weaken as it passes south of the state during the next couple of days. The system is currently moving west-southwest near 7 mph and has maximum sustained winds of 50 mph. The threat for flash flooding on the Big Island remains unchanged with 2 to 8 inches expected. Some areas could get up to a foot of rain. Rock and mudslides are also still a possibility.

Though the Tropical Storm Watch has been cancelled, locally windy conditions will persist over the Big Island into Monday as strong high pressure remains north of the state, and a wind advisory is in effect. Winds of 20 to 30 mph are expected with gusts as high as 50 mph where the terrain accelerates those winds.

A High Surf Advisory is also in effect. Large surf will continue to affect the Big Island, especially along southeast facing shores through tonight with 8 to 12 foot faces expected.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW AD

Niala’s track has been adjusted only slightly with the general motion continuing in a west-southwest direction.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW AD

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

By: Jamilia Epping

As of 11 p.m., Tropical Storm Niala was about 240 miles south-southeast of Hilo, moving west-southwest at eight miles per hour.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW AD

Tropical Storm Niala has lost some of its strength, holding maximum sustained winds of 50 mph. The storm is forecast to continue to weaken over the next couple of days.

Forecasters expect that Tropical Storm Niala will continue moving towards the west-southwest through Monday night.

Rainfall predictions have dropped slightly, with rainfall forecasts between two and eight inches.

A Tropical Storm Watch remains in effect for the Big Island.

A Flash Flood Watch is also in effect for the Big Island through Monday

***Updated at 5 p.m. to include information from the Central Pacific Hurricane Center.***

By Meteorologist Malika Dudley

Niala’s track remains relatively unchanged since the last update. Maximum sustained winds are near 65 mph making it a solid tropical storm.

The system is projected to move west through Sunday, before taking a southwest turn on Monday. Niala is moving west at 8 mph and expected to pass 120 to 150 miles south of the Big Island Sunday afternoon should it remain on its current track.

The system is being affected by west-southwesterly shear and expected to begin a weakening trend.

Information in the video below remains pertinent to our current situation. Even so, the projected rainfall numbers have dropped a tad to 2-8 inches of rain expected in Hawaii County with up to a foot of rain expected in some spots on the Big Island.

***Updated at 2 p.m.***

By Meteorologist Malika Dudley

Meteorologist Malika Dudley put together this video update which includes important safety information from the forecasters at the Central Pacific Hurricane Center and National Weather Service in Honolulu.

All storm video footage are from past severe weather events.

***Updated at 11:10 a.m. to include Central Pacific Hurricane Center information from the 11 a.m. advisory.***

As of 11 a.m., Tropical Storm Niala was located about 265 miles southeast of Hilo. The storm was moving in a western direction at seven miles per hour and was holding slightly increased wind speeds of 65 mph.

The Central Pacific Hurricane Center says that Tropical Storm Niala is expected to continue in its current path through Monday. In addition, the storm is expected to slowly weaken.

Rainfall is still expected to fall between six to 12 inches, and in some areas, up to 16 inches. Swells are still expected.

A Tropical Storm Watch remains in effect for the Big Island.

A Flash Flood Watch is also in effect for the Big Island through Monday

***Original story posted at 7:17 a.m.***

Central Pacific Hurricane Center image, as of 6:30 a.m.

Central Pacific Hurricane Center image, as of 6:30 a.m.

By: Jamilia Epping

Tropical Storm Niala strengthened over night as it nears the Big Island.

As of 5 a.m., the Central Pacific Hurricane Center reported that Tropical Storm Niala was about 280 miles southeast of Hilo, holding maximum sustained winds of 60 miles per hour, and was moving in a northwest direction at seven mph.

Tropical Storm Niala is still expected to make a turn towards the west this weekend. Forward speed is also expected to decrease.

CPHC forecasters say Tropical Storm Niala should pass about 150 miles south of the Big Island Sunday night.

Rain is expected to reach totals of six to 12 inches, with the possibility of up to 16 inches in some areas. The large amount of rain expected could cause life-threatening flash floods, rockslides, and mudslides.

Tropical Storm Niala will produce large surf along southeast shores over the weekend and into next week.

CPHC notes that tropical storm force winds are possible on the Big Island on Sunday.

A Tropical Storm Watch remains in effect for the Big Island.

A Flash Flood Watch is also in effect for the Big Island through Monday.

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