Tropical Storm Olivia maintains strength as it closes in on Hawaii
  • Thursday, November 15, 2018
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Tropical Storm Olivia maintains strength as it closes in on Hawaii

  • Meteorologist Ari Sarsalari looks at the current track of Olivia.
    Weather Channel
  • The forecast track for Tropical Storm Olivia as of 11 p.m. today.

  • NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION

    Satellite images show Tropical Storm Olivia over a 7-hour period ending at 8 p.m. Hawaii time.

  • CENTRAL PACIFIC HURRICANE CENTER

    The most likely arrival time of tropical storm-force winds from Tropical Storm Olivia as of 11 p.m. today.

ADVERTISING

UPDATE: 11 p.m.

Olivia has maintained both its intensity as a strong tropical storm and its path straight toward the Hawaiian islands.

Just before 11 p.m. Monday, the storm had maximum sustained winds of 70 mph, and was about 360 miles east-northeast of Hilo and 505 miles east of Honolulu, moving west at 9 mph. Tropical storm-force winds extend out up to 105 miles from the center.

Oahu, the Big Island and Maui County remain under a tropical storm warning, while Kauai County is under a tropical storm watch,

“A turn to the west and west-southwest is expected early Tuesday, with this general motion continuing for the next couple of days,” forecasters with the Central Pacific Hurricane Center said. “On the forecast track, the center of Olivia will be moving over the main Hawaiian islands late Tuesday night into Wednesday.”

Gradual weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours, but Olivia is expected to remain a powerful tropical storm as it moves over the islands, they said.

The latest five-day forecast has the tropical storm moving directly over Maui County late Tuesday and early Wednesday, but the hurricane center continues to caution against focusing on any exact track or intensity forecast. “Regardless of the track that Olivia takes as it approaches the islands, significant impacts can be expected away from the center,” meteorologists said. “In particular, the mountainous terrain of Hawaii can produce localized areas of strongly enhanced wind gusts and rainfall.”

The entire state is under a flash flood watch from Tuesday evening through late Thursday night, according to the National Weather Service.

“Olivia is forecast to produce total rainfall amounts of 10 to 15 inches,” forecasters said. “Isolated maximum amounts of 20 inches may occur along the windward sections of Maui County and the Big Island.”

Forecasters warned that “rain events of this size can cause widespread flooding and can affect areas that do not usually flood. Low spots in roads will become dangerous and impassable due to severe runoff. Debris in streams and gulches may clog bridges and culverts resulting in dangerous flooding. Numerous landslides are expected, especially along the Hana Highway on Maui and the Mamalahoa Highway on the Big Island.”

In addition, Olivia is expected to generate dangerous surf and storm surges.

A high surf warning is in effect for eastern shores of the Big Island and Maui County until 6 p.m. Wednesday, with 10 to 14 feet waves Tuesday, rising to up to 20 feet Tuesday night. Eastern shores of Oahu are under a high surf advisory, which may be upgraded to a warning, forecasters said.

8:15 p.m.

Tropical storm conditions are expected over Maui and Big Island starting late Tuesday and over Oahu from late Tuesday night or early Wednesday, the Central Pacific Hurricane Center said.

With sustained winds of 70 mph, Tropical Storm Olivia is about 365 miles east-northeast of Hilo and 515 miles east of Honolulu. The storm is approaching the islands on a west-northwest track at near 9 mph.

Later tonight, the storm is forecast to turn to the west and west-southwest, continuing in that direction for the next couple of days.

Some weakening is expected, but forecasters expect Olivia to move across the islands as a tropical storm with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph.

Tropical storm-force winds extend about 90 miles from the center.

6:06 p.m.

Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim has signed an emergency proclamation for the Big Island.

The proclamation is effective for 60 days from this afternoon and was issued because of the “possibility of imminent disaster due to property damage and/or bodily injury to residents of Hawaii island, the proclamation says.

5 p.m.

A tropical storm warning has been issued for Oahu as Tropical Storm Olivia continues its march toward the islands.

The center of Olivia is about 380 miles east-northeast of Hilo and 530 miles east of Honolulu, moving toward the west at about 10 mph. It is packing near 70 mph winds with higher gusts, but gradual weakening is expected over the next 48 hours, the Central Pacific Hurricane Center said.

A tropical storm watch has also been issued for Kauai and Niihau. A tropical storm warning remains in effect for Maui, Molokai, Lanai, Kahoolawe, and Big Island.

A warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere in the warning area within 36 hours, while a watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible in the watch area within 48 hours.

On its current track, Olivia is expected to move over the main Hawaiian islands late Tuesday into Wednesday.

Severe winds may begin as early as Tuesday on Maui and Big Island with flooding showers possible late Tuesday.

Forecasters with the Central Pacific Hurricane Center said that the risk chance for heavy rain and flooding “will increase rapidly late Tuesday and remain a significant threat through Thursday. Storm total rainfall amounts are expected to be around 10 to 15 inches, with isolated areas up to 20 inches. Much of this will be focused on windward areas of the islands of Maui County and the Big Island, however, flooding is still a significant threat for all areas.”

Olivia is also expected to generate high surf and storm surges, which “will slowly build through Tuesday, and reach damaging levels on some east-facing shores Tuesday and Wednesday,” forecasters said. “Surf heights along east facing shores are expected to reach up to 20 feet on Maui and the Big Island, and 10 to 15 feet on all other islands. This surf is expected to result in significant beach erosion and over-wash onto vulnerable coastal roadways, particularly during high tides.”

3:45 p.m.

The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch for all the Hawaiian islands from Tuesday evening to late Thursday night.

Tropical Storm Olivia could bring intense rainfall to east-facing slopes as it moves over the state starting Tuesday evening, the weather service said.

The storm is forecast to bring 10 to 15 inches of rain and up to 20 inches in isolated areas along windward portions of Maui and the Big Island.

“Rain events of this size can cause widespread flooding and can affect areas that do not usually flood,” the weather service said. “Numerous landslides are expected, especially along the Hana Highway on Maui and the Mamalahoa Highway on the Big Island.”

2:31 p.m.

Olivia has become a tropical storm as it moves toward the main Hawaiian islands, the Central Pacific Hurricane Center said.

Located about 415 miles east-northeast of Hilo and 565 miles east of Honolulu, Olivia is moving toward the west at near 9 mph. The west to west-southwest motion is expected for the next few days, and the center of Olivia will begin moving over the main islands Tuesday night into Wednesday, the hurricane center said.

The storm is still packing winds near 70 mph with higher gusts and gradual weakening is expected.

The hurricane center has warned that residents and visitors should “resist the temptation” to compare Olivia with Hurricane Lane, which was a stronger tropical cyclone near the islands.

“In some areas, Olivia could bring significantly worse impacts than were felt by Lane,” the hurricane center said.

People on the islands east of Kauai should finish preparations for impacts from the cyclone by Tuesday night. Some of the impacts could include intense flooding rainfall, damaging winds, and large surf, the hurricane center said.

About 10 to 15 inches of rain is expected from Olivia with the possibility of 20 inches in isolated areas, especially in windward areas of Maui and the Big Island.

11 a.m.

Olivia weakened a bit this morning but was still a hurricane as it headed west toward the islands.

Located about 435 miles east-northeast of Hilo and 590 miles east of Honolulu, Olivia clocked in with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph and was moving west at 9 mph at 11 a.m., according to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center.

A continued west to west-southwest motion is expected for the next few days. On the forecast track, the center of Olivia will be moving over the main Hawaiian Islands Tuesday night into Wednesday.

Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters recently found that Olivia is still a hurricane, with maximum sustained winds near 75 mph, with higher gusts. Little change in intensity is expected today, with gradual weakening expected afterward. Olivia is expected to approach the islands as a strong tropical storm.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 15 miles from Olivia’s center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 105 miles

8:45 a.m.

Although its forward speed has slowed somewhat, Olivia is still a strong Category 1 hurricane as it heads west toward the Hawaiian Islands.

Located about 475 miles east-northeast of Hilo and 630 miles east of Honolulu, Olivia was packing maximum sustained winds of 85 mph and moving west at 8 mph at 8 a.m., according to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center.

A turn toward the west-southwest is expected starting later today, and this motion is expected to continue through Wednesday. On the forecast track, the center of Olivia will be moving over the main Hawaiian Islands Tuesday night into Wednesday.

Little change in strength is forecast today, with slight weakening starting tonight and continuing through Tuesday. However, Olivia is forecast to be a strong tropical storm when it reaches the Hawaiian Islands.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles from Olivia’s center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE

Hurricane Olivia continues on a path toward the Hawaiian Islands and has prompted a tropical storm warning for Hawaii and Maui counties.

Located about 480 miles east-northeast of Hilo and 635 miles east of Honolulu, Olivia was packing maximum sustained winds of 85 mph and headed west at 10 mph at 5 a.m. today, according to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center.

This general motion is expected to continue early today, followed by a turn toward the west-southwest starting later today. This west-southwest motion is expected to continue through Tuesday night. On this forecast track, tropical storm conditions are expected over parts of Hawaii starting late Tuesday.

Little change in strength is forecast today, with slight weakening starting tonight and continuing through Tuesday. However, Olivia is forecast to be a strong tropical storm when it reaches the Hawaiian Islands.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles from Olivia’s center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles

A tropical storm warning is in effect for Maui County and Hawaii County and a tropical storm watch is in effect for Oahu. A tropical storm warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours. A tropical storm watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible in the watch area within 48 hours.

Olivia is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 10 to 15 inches, according to weather officials. Isolated maximum amounts of 20 inches are possible, especially over windward sections of Maui County and the Big Island. This rainfall may produce life-threatening flash flooding.

Large swells generated by Olivia will spread from east to west across the Hawaiian Islands early this week. This will cause surf to build along exposed east facing shorelines as Olivia approaches. This surf may become damaging across parts of the state.

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