Hurricane Erick Approaches Hawai‘i with Rain, Surf; Flossie on Heels

July 31, 2019, 7:01 AM HST · Updated July 31, 5:50 PM
Wendy Osher · 0 Comments
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(Update: 5 p.m. 7.31.19)
(Update: 11 a.m. 7.31.19)
(Original Post: 7 a.m. 7.31.19)

In the latest 5 p.m. update, Erick weakened down to a category 2 hurricane, with additional weakening forecast over the next two days.

At 5 p.m., Erick was located about 480 miles SE of Hilo, Hawaiʻi. The system has maximum sustained winds of 105 mph, and was moving W at 14 mph, according to the latest Central Pacific Hurricane Center forecast.

The CPHC says Erick is expected to pass south of the Big Island on Thursday night. After passing the islands, forecasters say Erick is expected to make a gradual turn towards the northwest.

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Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles, according to the CPHC.

The Central Pacific Hurricane Center says impacts from Erick may include: potentially dangerous surf mainly along east facing shores; and heavy rainfall starting Thursday afternoon–with the heaviest downpours over the east and southeast slopes of the Big Island of Hawaiʻi.

The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Watch for the Big Island from Thursday afternoon through Saturday morning. “The main flooding impacts are expected to occur from Hilo to Naʻalehu, with lower flooding potential elsewhere on the Big Island,” according to the NWS.

For area waters, there is a Tropical Storm Warning in effect for waters south of the Big Island and a Small Craft Advisory for Maui’s Māʻalaea Bay as well as the Pailolo and ʻAlenuihāhā channels.

Meantime, forecasters are also tracking Flossie, which weaken back into a tropical-storm by 11 a.m. today, but is expected to re-strengthen later this week, becoming a hurricane again in a few days.

Flossie was last located about 1775 miles E of Hilo, Hawaiʻi, and was moving W at 16 mph. The system has maximum sustained winds of 65 mph with higher gusts. The latest forecast cone places Flossie near the islands with potential impacts early next week.

The system is forecast to enter the Central Pacific Basin area of jurisdiction late Friday.

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    Erick five-day forecast cone as of 5 p.m. on Wednesday, July 31, 2019. PC: NOAA/CPHC.

    Satellite imagery of Erick. PC: (7.31.19) NOAA/National Hurricane Center.

    Wind arrival times for Erick. PC: (7.31.19) NOAA/Central Pacific Hurricane Center.

    Wind Speed Probabilities for Erick. PC: (7.31.19) NOAA/Central Pacific Hurricane Center.

    Satellite imagery of Erick and Flossie. PC: (7.31.19) NOAA/National Hurricane Center.

    Five day forecast cone for Flossie. PC: (7.31.19) NOAA/National Hurricane Center.

    Wendy Osher
    Wendy Osher leads the Maui Now news team. She is also the news voice of parent company, Pacific Media Group, having served nearly 20 years as News Director for the company’s six Maui radio stations.

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