UPDATE 2 p.m. 10/15/14: Onset of Ana Impacts to Begin Friday
By Wendy Osher
***A 5 p.m. update is now posted at the following LINK.
The National Weather Service hosted a press briefing at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014, to update the public on the potential impacts of Ana as it approaches the state.
Below are some highlights from the briefing including timing, forecast probability, and anticipated impacts.
Tropical Storm Ana was last located near 14.3 N and 147.4 W, about 625 miles SE of Hilo, Hawaiʻi; 745 miles SE of Kahului, Maui; 795 miles SE of Kaunakakai, Molokaʻi; 770 miles SE of Lānaʻi City; and 840 miles SE of Honolulu, Oʻahu on Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014.
The system has maximum sustained winds of 70 mph, and was moving toward the west at 9 mph.
Ana is moving to the west along the south side of a weak high pressure ridge. Forecasters with the National Weather Service say Ana is currently maintaining strength and is expected to intensify over the next two days.
Forecast & Uncertainty:
Forecasters with the National Weather Service say Ana is forecast to strengthen through Friday, becoming a hurricane later today.
The system is then expected to slowly weaken Friday through the weekend due to increased wind shear, NWS forecasters said.
At this point, the agency says Ana is forecast to remain at hurricane strength as it moves through much of the Hawaiian Islands.
The National Weather Service says the potential is high for significant impacts in Hawaiʻi including the likelihood of strong winds and heavy rains.
The agency says Ana is forecast to impact the Big Island of Hawaiʻi first as a hurricane beginning Friday, then move into Maui County Friday night and Oʻahu on Saturday.
Forecasters with the NWS say Kauaʻi is expected to begin experiencing the impacts of the system on Saturday night.
The threats include flash flooding, strong and damaging winds, and coastal inundation over the main Hawaiian Island Friday through Monday.
While Maui experienced damage in ʻUlupalakua from the last big system, with uprooted trees and debris, forecasters say we should not use the experience from Iselle as a gauge in predicting what will happen with Ana.
The National Weather Service says there is a difference in the storm track with Ana coming at the state from a SE to NW direction rather than from E to W track as was the case with Iselle. Forecasters say this will change the way wind impacts terrain, and where funneling may occur.
Authorities say similar types of wind gusts are definitely possible with Ana, but not necessarily in the exact same location. Other impacts are forecast in the form of high surf and heavy rains.
Next Briefing: 2 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014.