By Jeff King
Guillermo – coming and going. The once-powerful Category Two hurricane is back to “just” tropical storm strength – but still has plenty of punch to pack before slipping away. At 8 a.m. HST the center of Guillermo was located 335 miles east of Kahului – travelling west northwestward at about nine miles per hour. The current course is expected to take the storm closer than 100 miles to the island of Maui by Thursday noon.
The highest elevations of the storm are being sheared off by strong winds – funneling moisture to the West Coast in the so-called “Pineapple Express.”
Maximum sustained winds are 60 mph and tropical force winds extend up to 115 miles out from the center of the storm. A High Surf Warning has replaced the high surf advisory issued Tuesday. Waves up to 15 feet high are expected along east facing shores of Maui and Moloka’i.
A Flash Flood Watch is in effect for the entire state through Thursday. Heavy downpours can be expected with accumulations of up to three inches of rain. Thunderstorms and waterspouts are also a possibility. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect in offshore waters beyond 40 miles from shores facing Guillermo. Finally, a Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for coasts and channels around Maui County and the Big Island – which means that sustained winds of 39 mph or higher are possible within the next 24-36 hours.
In other words, if you haven’t tied stuff down yet – now would be a good time to do so. For the very latest storm updates and real-time radar, visit Glenn James’ Maui Weather Today.