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Henriette weakens; 'westbound train' of storms following

The next cyclone in East Pacific will be named Ivo

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 11:58 p.m. HST, Aug 8, 2013

Hurricane Henriette is starting to weaken as it moved into the Central Pacific, where hurricane trackers in Honolulu took over the forecasting and monitoring of the storm. Henriette continues on a track to pass south of Hawaii early next week.

National Hurricane Center forecasters in Florida are tracking two other storm systems behind Henriette -- what NASA called a “westbound train of developing storms” -- that could intensify in the next two to five days.

What's left of Post Tropical Cyclone Gil and Hurricane Henriette may to bring muggy weather, stronger trade winds and an increased chance of windward showers to the islands, especially the Big island, this weekend.

The forecast for Honolulu calls for an increased chance of rain Friday through Sunday.

Henriette is also expected to bring some surf to east shores.

At 11 p.m., Henriette was barely a category 1 hurricane with winds of 75 mph, down from 105 mph earlier Thursday.  Henriette was 920 miles east southeast of Hilo, heading west southwest at 14 mph.

“Henriette appears to have peaked in intensity as the eye is no longer apparent,” National Hurricane Center forecasters said. “The cyclone should continue to gradually weaken through the forecast period as it moves over cooler waters during the next couple of days and then encounters an increase in southwesterly shear and a drier and more stable airmass.”

Henriette should no longer be a hurricane on Saturday and may weaken into a post tropical cyclone by Monday.

A NASA satellite image released Thursday shows two other low pressure systems behind Henriette with the potential to develop into tropical cyclones. The system immediately east of Henriette has a 20 percent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone in 48 hours and a 30 percent chance of developing over the next five days. Another area of disturbed weather about 700 miles south southeast of Manzanillo, Mexico has a 50 percent chance of intensifying into a tropical cyclone over the next two days and a 70 percent chance of becoming a named storm during the next five days. If it does intensify, it will be named Ivo.

The National Weather Service cautions that the margin of error on the 5-day forecast track is about 175 miles in any direction and conditions are likely to change in long-range forecasts.

NASA released a video animation Wednesday from a satellite fly-over of Henriette. NASA's TRMM satellite found 10 mile high thunderstorms near the hurricane's eye wall.

TRMM is able to measure the shadows cast by towering thunderstorms on the northeastern side of Henriette's eye wall and is able to measure rainfall from its orbit in space.

The 3-D animation shows thunderstorms more than 10 miles high in the center of Henriette. These so-called chimney clouds, also called a "hot tower," can play a part in the formation or intensification of tropical cyclones.

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