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Tropical Storm Watch still in effect for Hawaii Island as T.S. Niala weakens

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4:45 p.m. Hawaii County Civil Defense message on Tropical Storm Niala

The 11 p.m. Saturday (Sept 26) Central Pacific Hurricane Center forecast for Tropical Storm Niala is tracking farther south of Hawaii Island and the system is weakening. Niala was located about 240 miles (390 km) south southeast of Hilo and is moving west southwest at 8 mph (13 km/h).

Maximum sustained winds are about 50 mph (85 km/h) with higher gusts. Tropical storm force winds extend up to 105 miles (165 km) from the center.

The CPHC forecast says Niala has already peaked in strength and will weaken over the the next few days days as west southwest vertical shear has begun to tear apart the system. Because of the outward winds of Niala a tropical storm watch has been issued for Hawaii Island. Rainfall amounts of 2-8 inches are forecast with isolated maximum amounts up to 12 inches on Hawaii Island.

The heavy rainfall can cause life-threatening flash floods as well as rockslides and mudslides. A Flash flood watch has been issued for Hawaii Island beginning tonight and through the weekend.

Presently the forecast is calling for high surf along the southeast facing shores building through the weekend. Surf heights of 8-12 feet can be expected with highest surf conditions occurring with the peak high tides.

For a reminder of how to prepare for a possible tropical storms and hurricanes read HELCO’s tips or go to our ‘Be Prepared’ menu near the top of this page.

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NWS Infrared Satellite Image Loop

NWS Infrared Satellite Image Loop

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