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Hurricane Norman heading for the Central Pacific

Central Pacific Infrared Images

Central Pacific Infrared Images

Hurricane Norman

At 5 p.m. HST (0300 UTC), the center of Hurricane Norman was located near latitude 18.6 North, longitude 132.7 West. Norman is moving toward the west-northwest near 20 mph (31 km/h). This motion with a gradual decrease in forward speed is expected during the next few days.

Maximum sustained winds remain near 130 mph (215 km/h) with higher gusts. Norman is a category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Gradual weakening is expected during the next few days.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles (55 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles (185 km).

The estimated minimum central pressure is 950 mb (28.06 inches).

Satellite images indicate that Norman is maintaining its strength this evening. The eye of the hurricane remains distinct and a ring of cold cloud tops surrounds that feature. However, the cloud tops have been warming a little during the past few hours. A blend of the latest satellite intensity estimates supports holding the initial wind speed at 115 kt.

Norman is currently located over marginally warm 27 deg C sea surface temperatures (SSTs) and it will be moving over slightly cooler waters during the next several days. In addition, the global models show the hurricane moving into an increasingly drier air mass and show a significant increase in shear in 4 to 5 days. All of these conditions suggest that Norman should steadily weaken, and the NHC forecast follows the trend in the model guidance. This forecast is in best agreement with the consensus models HCCA and IVCN.

Norman continues to move fairly quickly to the west-northwest, with the latest initial motion estimate the same as before, 285/17. This motion is expected to continue for the next day or so while Norman remains steered by a strong subtropical ridge to its north-northeast. After that time, a decrease in forward speed and then a gradual turn to the northwest are predicted as Norman moves near the edge of the ridge and approaches a significant weakness caused by a large-scale trough. The models agree on this overall scenario, but they differ on the details of where and when Norman makes the northwestward turn. The NHC track forecast lies near the middle of the guidance envelope and is near the typically most skillful aids, the consensus models. Based on this forecast, Norman is expected to cross into the central Pacific basin in 24 to 36 hours.

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Actions to take whenever a tropical storm or hurricane nears Hawaii

All of Hawaii’s citizens should know what to do during a hurricane, tropical storm watches and warnings. Watches and warnings are prepared for the Hawaiian Islands by the National Weather Service Central Pacific Hurricane Center in Honolulu. When watches and warnings are issued, people should closely monitor the Internet, radio, TV, or NOAA Weather Radio for official bulletins of the storm’s progress and instructions from civil defense authorities. Jim Weyman, director of the Central Pacific Hurricane Center, said, “Although you and your family may have never experienced a hurricane, don’t be complacent! It’s not a matter of if a hurricane will occur, but when one will occur. All of the Hawaiian Islands are at risk for a hurricane and we should all know what actions to take.”

For the Central Pacific Ocean a Hurricane/Tropical Storm Watch means hurricane/tropical storm conditions are possible in the specified area of the Watch, usually within 48 hours.

When a Hurricane or Tropical Storm Watch is issued:

  • Fuel and service family vehicles.
  • Prepare to cover all windows and door openings with boards, shutters or other shielding materials.
  • Check food and water supplies. Have clean, air-tight containers on hand to store at least two weeks of drinking water (14 gallons per person), and stock up on canned provisions. Keep a small cooler with frozen gel packs handy for packing refrigerated items.
  • Check prescription medicines – obtain at least 10-14 day supply.
  • Stock up on extra batteries for radios, flashlights, and lanterns.
  • Store and secure outdoor lawn furniture and other loose, lightweight objects, such as garbage cans and garden tools.
  • Check and replenish first-aid supplies.
  • Have on hand an extra supply of cash.
  • Read the Hawaii Boater’s Hurricane and Tsunami Safety Manual for recommended precautions to protect your boat prior to a storm.

For the Central Pacific Ocean a Hurricane/Tropical Storm Warning means hurricane/tropical storm conditions are expected in the specified area of the Warning, usually within 36 hours.

When a Hurricane or Tropical Storm Warning is issued:

  • Follow instructions issued by civil defense. Leave immediately if ordered to do so.
  • Complete preparation activities, such as boarding up windows and storing loose objects.
  • Evacuate areas that might be affected by storm surge flooding. If evacuating, leave early.
  • Notify neighbors and a family member outside of the warned area of your evacuation plans.
  • Read the Hawaii Boater’s Hurricane and Tsunami Safety Manual for recommended precautions to protect your boat prior to a storm.

The Central Pacific Hurricane Center (CPHC) issues tropical cyclone warnings, watches, advisories, discussions, and statements for all tropical cyclones in the Central Pacific from 140 Degrees West Longitude to the International Dateline. The season officially begins on June 1 and ends on November 30. However, tropical cyclones can occur at any time. The National Weather Service Forecast Office in Honolulu activates the CPHC when: (1) a tropical cyclone moves into the Central Pacific from the Eastern Pacific, (2) a tropical cyclone forms in the Central Pacific, or (3) a tropical cyclone moves into the Central Pacific from the West.

NOAA Hurricane Preparedness

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