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Tropical Storm Douglas to become hurricane before entering Central Pacific, forecasters say

  • COURTESY NOAA

    COURTESY NOAA

  • NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION
                                A satellite image of the Pacific Ocean at 11 a.m. today showed tropical depressions Seven-E and Eight-E, which later strengthen into Tropical Storm Douglas.

    NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION

    A satellite image of the Pacific Ocean at 11 a.m. today showed tropical depressions Seven-E and Eight-E, which later strengthen into Tropical Storm Douglas.

UPDATE: 11:50 p.m.

Tropical Storm Douglas in the eastern Pacific continued to strengthen Monday night and is expected to be a hurricane by Wednesday as it heads toward the Central Pacific.

Douglas, with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph, was about 2,200 miles southeast of Hilo late Monday night, moving west-southwest at 14 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami. Tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles from Douglas’ center.

“Additional strengthening is forecast, and Douglas is expected to become a hurricane by Wednesday,” forecasters said. The storm is expected to start making a turn toward the northwest on Tuesday.

The latest forecast has Douglas becoming a hurricane by late Tuesday night with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph, and growing to a strong Category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 90 mph by Wednesday night.

The National Hurricane Center’s five-day forecast has Douglas entering the Central Pacific on Friday as a hurricane but weakening to a tropical storm with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph by late Saturday, about 400 miles southeast of Hawaii island.

6:40 p.m.

Tropical Depression Douglas formed today in the eastern Pacific and is expected to strengthen into a hurricane as it approaches the Central Pacific, according to the National Weather Service.

The storm, with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph, was about 2,260 miles southeast of Hilo late this afternoon, and was moving west-southwest at 10 mph. Forecasters expect the storm to take a turn to the northwest later this week as it remains over favorable conditions for strengthening.

Tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles its center.

“Douglas is expected to become a hurricane in a couple of days,” forecasters said.

The current forecast has Douglas as a Category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph on Friday as it approaches the Central Pacific, but then it is expected to start weakening. By Saturday afternoon, the end of the current five-day forecast, the weather service predicts Douglas will be a weakening tropical storm with 50 mph winds and still hundreds of miles southeast of Hilo.

The National Weather Service in Honolulu, meanwhile, warns of “nuisance coastal flooding” across Hawaii during most of the week due to a combination of seasonally high astronomical tides and abnormally high sea levels.

The impacts may include flooding of beaches that are normally dry, saltwater inundation of vulnerable, low-lying roads, docks, boat ramps and other coastal infrastructure, the weather service said. The flooding is expected during the afternoon high tides, and through Thursday.

2:10 p.m.

Tropical depression Eight-E in the eastern Pacific is expected to strengthen into a tropical storm by tonight, and become a Category 1 hurricane as it enters the Central Pacific later this week.

The National Weather Service in Miami said today that the storm is in an area where conditions are favorable for strengthening. “The cyclone is over warm sea surface temperatures and in a light shear environment, and these conditions should persist for the next several days,” forecasters said.

It will be called Tropical Storm Douglas once its maximum sustained winds reach 39 mph.

By Friday, the storm is expected to have maximum sustained winds of 85 mph as it enters the Central Pacific, still about 1,000 miles from Hilo. However it is forecast to drop back to tropical storm strength Saturday, the last day of the current five-day forecast.

As of late this morning, the storm was 2,325 miles southeast of the Big Island with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph and moving southwest at 7 mph. It is expected to make a turn to the northwest later in the week.

Another East Pacific storm system, tropical depression Seven-E, is closer to the Central Pacific but expected to weaken to a post-tropical low by Tuesday, forecasters said.

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Moderate to breezy tradewinds will continue today before trending down on Tuesday and Wednesday, forecasters said, then pick up again on Thursday.

The National Weather Service, meanwhile, warns of “nuisance coastal flooding” across the isle chain during most of the week due to a combination of seasonally high astronomical tides and abnormally high sea levels.

The impacts may include flooding of beaches that are normally dry, saltwater inundation of vulnerable, low-lying roads, docks, boat ramps and other coastal infrastructure, NWS said. The flooding is expected during the afternoon high tides, and through Thursday.

Today’s forecast is mostly sunny and breezy, with highs from 85 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit and trades from 15 to 25 mph. Tonight’s forecast is partly cloudy with scattered showers and lows from 70 to 75 degrees. Trades lower in range to 15 to 20 mph.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the trades are expected to decrease to lighter easterlies due to a low-level trough forming over the state, with land and sea breezes expected to develop during this time.

A slight upward trend, meanwhile, is possible with choppy surf along east shores by midweek as a northeast swell arrives. Surf along south shores may also trend up by midweek as a new, long-period south swell arrives.

For today, surf along south shores will be 2 to 4 feet, lowering to 1 to 3 feet Tuesday. Surf along east shores will be 3 to 5 feet today, then 2 to 4 feet Tuesday.

Surf along west shores will be 1 to 3 feet, and surf along north shores will remain 2 feet or less through Tuesday.

The Central Pacific Hurricane Center is keeping an eye on tropical depression Seven-E, which as of 11 a.m. this morning was about 1,565 miles east of Hilo with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph, and moving west-northwest at 10 mph.

The depression is expected to turn into a “remnant low” by early Tuesday as it continues moving west, and then dissipate by early Thursday.

Another tropical depression, Eight-E, was located late this morning about 2,325 east-southeast of Hilo with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph, and moving southwest at 7 mph. It is expected to become a tropical storm by tonight.

A few record high temperatures were set over the weekend, including a record high of 95 degrees in Kahului on Friday, which surpassed the previous one of 92 set in 2015. A record high of 93 degrees was set again in Kahului on Saturday, breaking the old record of 91 set in 2019. A high of 91 degrees in Honolulu on Saturday matched the previous record set in 1987.

A small craft advisory has been issued for Maalaea Bay, various channels, leeward Oahu waters, windward Maui County waters, and leeward and southeast Hawaii island waters through 6 p.m. today.

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