UPDATE: Dora intensifies to Category 4 hurricane, still expected to pass south of Hawaiʻi
Update at 5 p.m. Aug. 3: Hurricane Dora intensified to a major Category 4 storm again Thursday afternoon and the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Fla., says it is expected to remain a hurricane for awhile as it traverses the Eastern and Central Pacific basins.
As of 5 p.m. Thursday, Dora was 1,070 miles west-southwest of the southern tip of Baja California, or 2,130 miles east-southeast of Hilo, traveling west at about 18 mph and was continued to do so for the next several days. The storm also is still supposed to pass south of the state.
Dora now has maximum sustained winds of about 140 mph, with some weakening forecast during the next day or so. The storm is expected to be near or at major hurricane status through much of the weekend.
Hurricane force winds extend out from the storm’s center up to 15 miles and tropical storm force winds extend up to 45 miles out.
“Breezy easterly trade winds will trend down tonight and Friday and will remain at moderate strength through the weekend,” said the Hawaiʻi area synopsis from the National Weather Service forecast office in Honolulu just before 4 p.m. Thursday. “Shower coverage will remain limited through Friday, with the best rainfall chances over windward areas at night through early morning. An upper-level disturbance moving near the islands this weekend will bring a modest increase in shower activity. Trades will ramp up early next week, and windy, very gusty and dry conditions are possible late Monday into Wednesday.”
Original story: Hurricane Dora has weakened slightly overnight to a Category 3 storm as it continues to move west toward the Central Pacific at 18 mph. It is packing maximum sustained winds of 125 mph with higher gusts.
At 5 a.m. Thursday, the Central Pacific Hurricane Center forecasts gradual weakening the next couple of days as it travels over cooler sea surface temperatures and runs into an increase in easterly shear.
Based on current forecasts, the National Weather Service in Honolulu said Hurricane Dora will cross into the Central Pacific basin late this weekend and on a track well south of the Hawaiian Islands. This would lead to increased trade wind speeds on Monday and Tuesday.
Dora is a small tropical cyclone with hurricane-force winds extending outward up to 15 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extending outward up to 45 miles.But uncertainty remains high with the intensity forecast since the compact system could be more prone to rapid intensity fluctuations.
At 5 a.m., Dora was located near latitude 14.7 North, longitude 120.1 West.