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Henriette, Gil to bring humidity, wind, rain and surf

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Hurricane Henriette lost a little strength overnight and remains on a path to pass south of Hawaii early next week as a much weaker storm.

What’s left of Post Tropical Cyclone Gil and Henriette are expected to bring muggy weather, stronger trade winds and an increased chance of windward showers to the islands this weekend.

Henriette is also expected to bring some surf to east and southeast shores starting Friday.

The hurricane’s maximum winds were near 85 mph and tropical storm force winds extend 80 miles from the center. Henriette was 1,125 miles east southeast of Hilo at 5 p.m., heading west northwest at 10 mph. The storm should begin moving into cooler waters tonight and should start to lose strength. It’s also forecast to take a turn to the west southwest.

It will enter the Central Pacific Thursday and is expected to be a weak tropical depression or post-tropical cyclone when it passes south of Hawaii island Sunday or Monday.

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 today 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 n 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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