5am ANA UPDATE: 10/17/14, ANA Slightly Bigger, Hurricane Conditions Unlikely
***A forecast update issued at 10 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 17, is now posted at the following direct LINK.
The latest update on Tropical Storm ANA was just released by the Central Pacific Hurricane Center. It is unlikely that any of the islands will experience hurricane conditions – there’s still a chance of course but it’s statistically very small. The track is relatively unchanged however, now the island of Kauaʻi is also no longer in the cone of uncertainty. Intensity holds at 70 mph maximum sustained winds but ANA is slightly more expansive than at last check. No change to the alerts that are currently posted.
Keep in mind, this is a large system and not a single point – as the track may lead you to believe – it’s becoming quite apparent on radar just how big this system is when compared to our land masses in the Hawaiian islands. Slight deviations to the right could have significant negative impacts on the effects we see to our island weather. Slight deviations to the left could similarly have a positive effect on our weather. Closely monitoring the system and the impending conditions as ANA continues to approach is a smart idea.
Summary of Alerts:
HURRICANE WARNING – All Hawaiian Offshore Waters / Starting Friday PM
TROPICAL STORM WARNING – All Hawaiian Offshore Waters / Big Island leeward coastal waters and Big Island southeast waters
TROPICAL STORM WATCH – Hawaii County / Maui County Leeward Waters & Parts of ʻAlenuihāhā Channel.
FLASH FLOOD WATCH – Big Island / Possibly the entire state beginning this afternoon
Maximum sustained winds are at 70 mph, gusting to 87 mph
Ana is moving west-northwest at 14 mph
Tropical storm force winds extend 80 miles from the center of the system
The center of Tropical Storm Ana was last located near 15.7 N and 154.2 W, about 280 miles SSE of Hilo, Hawaiʻi; 385 miles SE of Kahului, Maui; 420 miles SE of Kaunakakai, Molokaʻi; 395 miles SE of Lānaʻi City; and 455 miles SE of Honolulu, Oʻahu on Friday, Oct. 18, 2014 at 5 a.m.
Briefly overnight we saw glimpses of an eye forming within ANA but that was short-lived as wind shear kept that from developing fully. Having said that, the system appears to be close to hurricane strength at just a few mph below the threshold of 74 mph. Slow strengthening is expected through this evening but wind shear is expected to prevent ANA from rapidly intensifying.
ANA is expected to get nudged slightly northwest later today or early Saturday. A new ridge is expected to form north of our islands just as ANA would be approaching Oʻahu and Kauaʻi, if the forecast holds true, this would help to slow the forward motion of the system (not so good – increased flooding potential) and steer it west (good – away from the islands).
Forecast & Uncertainty:
The current track has ANA passing 120 miles southwest of the island of Hawaiʻi Friday night and south of Maui County Saturday. Though the island of Hawaiʻi, Maui County, Oʻahu and Kʻauai are no longer in the cone of uncertainty, keep in mind the center of the storm could fall along the upper edge and if that happens the storm could still have potentially serious impacts.
The probability of tropical storm conditions continues a gradual downward trend (at 2:45am – this may be updated shortly) – for Maui leeward waters it’s 43%; 9% in Hilo; 21% in Kailua-Kona and 27% near South Point.
Potential Impacts (if the track holds):
Heavy rain and thunderstorms are expected for the Big Island today – potentially causing dangerous flash flooding with excessive runoff causing possible mud slides and rock slides in steep terrain. Flooding is possible statewide and the National Weather Service is anticipating the issuance of a flash flood watch for the entire state today at noon. These heavy rain conditions are likely to sweep up the island chain from east to west through this weekend.
Large dangerous surf conditions will impact the eastern end of the Hawaiian islands spreading westward through the weekend as well. Additional storm surge of 1 -2 feet for southeastern shores is likely.
Winds are expected to increase to 35 mph. Gusts could reach 50 mph or more as the center of ANA passes. Highest winds will be through mountainous terrain, valleys and passes.