By Jeff King
Hurricane Hilda is active in our central Pacific…and is a very powerful major category 4 hurricane!
Category 4 hurricanes have sustained winds that range between 130 and 156 mph. Hilda currently has winds of 140 mph…with gusts to near 167 mph. We’ll see her winds increase yet another notch during the next 12 hours, reaching 145 mph, with gusts of 173 mph. Here’s what the computer models are showing.
It appears that this tropical cyclone, in whatever form it will be in next week, will influence our local weather conditions in the Wednesday through Saturday morning time frame. However, the forecast “cone” has been reshaped to indicate a possibly wider influence while maintaining tropical storm strength if and when the effects first reach the shores of Maui County. It is almost a guarantee that extremely large surf will precede the arrival of Hilda along east shores.
As of 11 a.m. HST today, Hilda was about 870 miles east southeast of Hilo – or about 985 miles east southeast of Kahului. The storm is rumbling along at about 15 miles per hour – mostly in a westward direction. It looks very likely that Hilda will come close enough to the Aloha state, to bring us a noticeable shift away from the regular trade wind weather pattern.
Maui Weather Guru Glenn James adds, “It’s too early to know the exact details, although looking at the situation from here, we could find very rough surf along our east and northeast shores, tropical storm force winds (39-74 mph) locally, and heavy rainfall in places. By the way, if Hilda stays far enough offshore, we could see our local winds get stopped altogether. As we all know however, these outlooks can and do change with time, as we saw with recent Guillermo…please stay tuned for additional updates.”
Maui Weather Today features a large array of real-time radar and satellite images – both still and animated loops. And James’ insights are historically right on the mark.
And if you don’t have an emergency plan, start now. The American Red Cross has some great suggestions. And here’s a comprehensive checklist with – undoubtedly – a bunch of things you and I may not have thought of.