Niala – the record seventh named Central Pacific cyclone of the 2015 season is heading our way. Only one system has formed this season that did not achieve “name-able” strength. However, forecasters are extremely confident that Niala – like all the rest – will make a last-minute turn and miss the state. Nonetheless, Maui County Civil Defense is keeping an eye on the system and files this report:
SITUATION: At 2:00 p.m., Tropical Storm Niala was located about 390 miles SE of Hilo, moving NW at 7 mph, with maximum sustained winds near 50 mph. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 80 miles from the center.
Niala will continue moving northwest through tonight. The storm will then turn west and slow in forward speed Saturday night and Sunday. Some intensification is expected into Saturday followed by weakening thereafter.
Deep tropical moisture associated with Tropical Storm Niala will likely reach parts of the main Hawaiian Islands this weekend. Swells associated with Tropical Storm Niala will produce elevated surf along east and southeast facing shores across portions of the main Hawaiian Islands, starting this weekend and continuing into early next week.