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Hurricane Walaka continues to batter portions of Papahanaumokuakea

  • CENTRAL PACIFIC HURRICANE CENTER

    The five-day forecast track for Hurricane Walaka as of 11 p.m. Wednesday.

  • CENTRAL PACIFIC HURRICANE CENTER The five-day forecast track for Hurricane Walaka as of 8 p.m. Wednesday. Hurricane Walaka is on track to hit Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument tonight.

UPDATE: 11 p.m.

Walaka remains a powerful Category 3 hurricane as it batters portions of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument tonight.

At 11 p.m., the storm was centered 65 miles north-northwest of French Frigate Shoals in Papahanaumokuakea and 610 miles west-northwest of Honolulu, as it moved north-northeast at 22 mph. Hurricane-force winds extend out 70 miles from Walaka’s center and tropical storm-force winds extend out 220 miles.

Walaka is forecast to gradually weaken, but will remain a hurricane through Thursday night, weather officials said.

8:40 p.m.

Hurricane Walaka is crossing the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument just west of French frigate shoals.

At 8 p.m., the storm was centered 60 miles west of French Frigate Shoals in Papahanaumokuakea and 620 miles west-northwest of Honolulu, as it moved north-northeast at 22 mph. Hurricane-force winds extend out 70 miles from Walaka’s center and tropical storm-force winds extend out 220 miles.

Maximum sustained winds are near 125 mph with higher gusts.

5:40 p.m.

Hurricane Walaka is now moving into the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument.

At 5 p.m., the storm was centered 115 miles west-southwest of French Frigate Shoals in Papahanaumokuakea and 650 miles west-northwest of Honolulu, as it moved north-northeast at 22 mph. Hurricane-force winds extend out 70 miles from Walaka’s center and tropical storm-force winds extend out 220 miles.

Walaka is forecast to turn toward the north with a slower forward speed Thursday. It’s also expected to cross the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument between French Frigate Shoals and Gardner Pinnacles tonight.

Maximum sustained winds are near 125 mph with higher gusts, making Walaka a Category 3 hurricane.

Although a weakening trend is forecast to continue through Friday, Walaka will remain “a powerful and life-threatening hurricane” as it crosses the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument.

2:40 p.m.

Hurricane Walaka remained a Category 4 storm, with maximum sustained winds of 130 mph, as it approaches Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument from the south.

At 2 p.m., the storm was centered 160 miles southwest of French Frigate Shoals in Papahanaumokuakea and 655 miles west of Honolulu, as it moved north-northeast at 23 mph. Hurricane-force winds extend out 70 miles from Walaka’s center and tropical storm-force winds extend out 220 miles.

A hurricane warning is in effect for Papahanaumokuakea from French Frigate Shoals to Maro Reef, and a tropical storm warning covers Papahanaumokuakea from Nihoa to French Frigate Shoals. Seven biologists were evacuated from Papahanaumokuakea earlier this week because of Walaka’s threat.

The Central Pacific Hurricane Center on Oahu said that the current forecast calls for the center of Walaka to cross between French Frigate Shoals and Gardner Pinnacles tonight.

The storm is not expected to affect the weather for the main Hawaiian islands, except for cutting off tradewinds as it passes well north of the state, and sending high surf.

11 a.m.

Hurricane Walaka has maintained is strength and speed this morning as it speeds toward the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument.

At 11 a.m. today, Walaka was located about 220 miles southwest of French Frigate Shoals and 680 miles west of Honolulu and was packing maximum sustained winds of 140 mph while moving north-northeast at 22 mph, according to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center. This general motion with a faster forward speed is expected through tonight.

Walaka is still forecast to reach the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument tonight.

A weakening trend is forecast today and expected to continue through Friday. However, Walaka will likely remain a powerful and life-threatening hurricane as it crosses the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument tonight.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles from Walaka’s center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 205 miles.

A hurricane warning remains in effect for the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument from Nihoa to French Frigate Shoals.

8 a.m.

Hurricane Walaka has not weakened this morning and has even sped up on its way toward the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument.

At 8 a.m. today, Walaka was located about 300 miles southwest of French Frigate Shoals and 705 miles west of Honolulu and was packing maximum sustained winds of 140 mph while moving north-northeast at 22 mph, according to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center. This general motion with a faster forward speed is expected through tonight.

Walaka is still forecast to reach the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument tonight.

Some gradual weakening is possible starting later today. A faster weakening trend is forecast starting tonight and continuing through Thursday night. However, Walaka will likely remain a powerful and life-threatening hurricane as it crosses the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument tonight.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles from Walaka’s center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 205 miles.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE

A strengthened Walaka has left Johnston Atoll behind and has sped up as it remains on track toward the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument.

At 5 a.m. today, Walaka was located about 355 miles southwest of French Frigate Shoals and 200 miles north of Johnston Atoll and was packing maximum sustained winds of 140 mph while moving north-northeast at 17 mph, according to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center. This general motion with a faster forward speed is expected through tonight.

Walaka is forecast to turn toward the north with a slower forward speed Thursday and Thursday night. On this forecast track, the center of Walaka will likely reach the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument tonight.

Some gradual weakening is possible starting later today. A faster weakening trend is forecast starting tonight, and continuing through Thursday night. However, Walaka will likely remain a powerful and life-threatening hurricane as it crosses the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument tonight.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles from Walaka’s center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 205 miles.

A hurricane warning is in effect for the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument from Nihoa to French Frigate Shoals.

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