Olivia on track for Hawaii, residents should prepare

Archived Central Pacific Infrared Images

At 11 p.m. HST (0900 UTC), the center of Hurricane Olivia was located near latitude 21.8 North, longitude 142.5 West. Olivia is moving toward the west near 16 mph (26 km/h). Olivia is expected to continue moving westward, but at a slightly slower forward speed through Monday. Note that the longer range forecast continues to show Olivia turning toward the west-southwest, and it may be near the Hawaiian Islands late Tuesday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 80 mph (130 km/h) with higher gusts. Little change in strength is forecast during the next couple of days, and Olivia is expected to remain a hurricane through Monday evening. Some gradual weakening is possible on Tuesday, but Olivia will likely remain a threat to the Hawaiian Islands next week.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles (45 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles (185 km).

The estimated minimum central pressure is 985 mb (29.09 inches).

Olivia is in a very weak vertical wind shear environment, but it is moving over marginal sea surface temperatures of 25.5C. The hurricane has likely traversed the coolest water it was going to encounter, but SSTs stay sub-27C until Olivia gets close to the islands.

KEY MESSAGES:

1. It is important to recognize that errors in both forecast track and intensity, particularly at longer time ranges, can be large. While it is too soon to determine the location and magnitude of the worst impacts, all interests in Hawaii should continue to monitor the progress of Olivia, and use this time to prepare for the increasing likelihood of direct impacts from this system early next week.

2. Regardless of the exact track and intensity that Olivia takes as it approaches the islands, significant effects often do extend far from the center. In particular, the mountainous terrain of Hawaii can produce localized areas of strongly enhanced winds and rainfall, even well away from the tropical cyclone center.

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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:

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:

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.

For links to the latest weather forecasts, reports, radar, webcam and satellite imagery visit our Weather Page at hawaii247.com/weather