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Storm remnant could bring heavy rain

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 7:09 a.m. HST, Aug 10, 2013

Showers and the chance of heavy rain remain in the forecast through Sunday as what’s left of former Tropical Cyclone Gil, now a mass of moist and unstable air, moves over the islands.

Henriette is now a weakening tropical storm. It is expected to pass far south of Hawaii and should not have much of an impact on local weather, except for bringing some high surf to east shores.

National Weather Service forecasters say moist tropical air from the remnants of Gil are moving over the islands and bringing rain and the slight chance of thunderstorms. Most of the rain is falling on the windward sides of Oahu and Maui, but Hawaii island also got some showers and Kauai is likely to be affected as the system moves west.

Drier conditions should return by Monday.

Henriette was about 590 miles east southeast of Hilo at 5 a.m., moving west southwest at 16 mph. The storm, which was a category 2 hurricane on Thursday with winds over 100 mph, continues to weaken and had sustained winds of about 50 mph at 5 a.m.

NASA’s GOES-West satellite showed that Henriette had become more asymmetric, a sign of weakening.

“Tropical cyclones need to be circular in shape to maintain strength or strengthen. When they begin losing the circular shape, they start to ‘spin down’ and slow down like a tire going flat,” NASA said in a news release. Infrared satellite data also showed the thunderstorm cloud top temperatures on the southern side of Henriette are warming, indicating cloud heights were dropping. Warmer cloud top temperatures indicate the storms don’t have as much uplift or strength in them as they did before.

Because it is so far south, National Weather Service forecasters say Tropical Storm Henriette may only bring an increase in trade winds and some surf, perhaps as high as 8 feet, to east shores starting today.

The National Hurricane Center is watching two other potential tropical cyclones in the East Pacific. Forecasters say the systems have a medium chance of intensifying into named storms. The next named storm in the East Pacific will be called Ivo.

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