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Muggy weather to envelop isles as Celia passes north

  • COURTESY NASA GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT CENTER

    Darby, at right, weakened to a Category 1 hurricane today, while the remnants of Hurricane Celia passed north of Hawaii at left, bringing some rain to the isles. This photo was taken today by the GOES-15 geostationary satellite.

Muggy weather will envelop the islands on Monday as the remnants of Hurricane Celia pass north of the state, bringing in moisture and cutting off the tradewinds.

“It’s already feeling muggy and it’s just going to get worse as the winds die down Monday and Tuesday,” said Maureen Ballard, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Honolulu. “In addition, the moisture that’s going to come in is also helping to fuel some showers.”

Ballard said to expect clouds and showers in the afternoon.

The dew point could reach the mid-70s as tradewinds drop off Monday and Tuesday. A dew point of 70 degrees signifies a lot of moisture in the air and is the point where people start to feel uncomfortable.

“We are already into the low 70s,” Ballard said this evening. “If the tradewinds are blowing, it’s not as noticeable. But as they climb up into the mid-70s … with no wind, it really just feels really bad.”

“Turn the fans on,” she said.

Celia will continue moving west and will be far enough on Wednesday to allow trades winds to return on Wednesday and Thursday.

But then the impacts from Hurricane Darby will begin arriving, Ballard said. Hurricane Darby was about 1,800 miles east of Hawaii Island on Sunday.

Hurricane Darby continued to maintain its strength Sunday, but was expected to weaken to a tropical storm Monday, the National Hurricane Center said. The category 1 hurricane was moving west about 9 mph with 90 mph maximum sustained winds and hurricane-force winds extending up to 30 miles from the center.

Darby could bring long period swells after Monday and moisture by the end of the week.

Ballard said models predict an increase in showers as early as Friday and for the weekend because of Darby, but there was still a high degree of uncertainty.

She said the conditions ahead of Darby are not conducive to the storm strengthening and it was expected to cross into the Central Pacific as a tropical storm on Wednesday. By Friday, it will be about 300 miles east of the Big Island.

Behind Darby is Tropical Storm Estelle, which was about 2,700 miles east of the Big Island. Estelle was forecast to become a hurricane on Monday. It was still too far to determine what impact it could have on the islands.

Besides the muggy, wet weather, Celia was also bringing strong wind and surf.

A gale warning was in effect for off-shore waters, which extend outside 40 nautical miles from shore, and mariners were being warned of 5 to 14 foot seas for Monday.

A high surf advisory was also in effect until 6 p.m. Monday for six- to 10-foot surf along east-facing shores of Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Maui, and Big Island.

Ballard warned that while the Central Pacific hasn’t had any hurricanes yet, it’s still early in the season, which started in June.

Forecasters predicted an average to above average hurricane season this year with four to seven tropical cyclones. The season runs through November.

“It’s better to prepare now,” she said. “Make sure you’ve got your supplies.”

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