Maui News

Ana Gradually Intensifying, Hurricane Watch Possible Later Today

October 15, 2014, 8:51 AM HST
* Updated October 15, 11:59 AM
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Satellite imagery, 7:30 a.m. HST, Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014, courtesy NOAA/NWS.

Satellite imagery, 7:30 a.m. HST, Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014, courtesy NOAA/NWS.

By Wendy Osher

***An 11 a.m. UPDATE is now posted at the following LINK.

Tropical Storm Ana is forecast to gradually intensify through tomorrow night, and may become a hurricane later today (Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014) or tonight, according to forecasters with the National Weather Service.

At 5 a.m., Ana was located 675 miles SE of Hilo, Hawaiʻi; 795 miles SE of Kahului, Maui; 845 miles SE of Kaunakakai, Molokaʻi; and 820 miles SE of Lānaʻi City.

5-day forecast track for Tropical Storm Ana as of 5 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014. Image courtesy NOAA/NWS/Central Pacific Hurricane Center.

5-day forecast track for Tropical Storm Ana as of 5 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014. Image courtesy NOAA/NWS/Central Pacific Hurricane Center.

The Central Pacific Hurricane Center says the system was moving toward the west near 9 mph with maximum sustained winds near 70 mph.

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The current forecast track brings the center of the system near the southern edge of the Big Island of Hawaiʻi early Saturday morning, and south of Maui County on Sunday.

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According to a forecast discussion issued by the Central Pacific Hurricane Center, the peak intensity of the system is expected Thursday and Friday, with a gradual weakening trend forecast this weekend, however the certainty of the forecast continues to be refined as the system gets closer.

As of 8 a.m., there were no warnings or watches in effect, however forecasters say a hurricane watch may be required for portions of the Main Hawaiian Islands later today or tonight.  A hurricane watch is issued when hurricane conditions are possible in the designated watch area within 36 hours.

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