By Jeff King
Tropical Storm Oho is going the wrong way.
The system has been a highly unusual one since it began forming last week. Early autumn storms along the area known as the Intertropic Convergence Zone usually travel east to west just north of the equator. Oho has been inching north and northeastward.
As of 8 a.m. today, Oho is about 500 miles south of Hana, moving toward the west northwest at 11 mph. The storm is expected to turn sharply to the northeast at some point. Some forecasts have Oho gaining hurricane strength as she exits stage right. Others show the storm remaining intact as it traverses the eastern Pacific all the way to British Columbia.
Meanwhile, the system is inching closer to the islands of Maui County than expected. The Central Pacific Hurricane Center has yet to revise their prediction but – as Maui Weather Guru Glenn James has warned several times about Oho, “…It would be wise to pay close attention to this rather dramatic change in weather, as we move forward.”
While surf will likely build rapidly (and sloppily…if that’s a word) along south and west shores, The National Weather Service has continued the HIGH SURF ADVISORY for North & East Facing shores of MOLOKAI and MAUI, in effect until 6:00 p.m. today
A High Surf Advisory means that high surf will affect beaches in the advisory area, producing rip currents and localized beach erosion.
EFFECTS: A large north-northeast swell will keep elevated and rough surf along north and east facing shores through this evening. Expect surf along north facing shores of 12 to 16 feet today. Expect surf along east facing shores of 6 to 10 feet. Forecast surf heights are estimates of the height of the face or front of waves.
PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES: EXPECT STRONG BREAKING WAVES, SHORE BREAK, AND STRONG LONGSHORE AND RIP CURRENTS, MAKING SWIMMING DIFFICULT AND DANGEROUS. BEACHGOERS, SWIMMERS, AND SURFERS SHOULD HEED ALL ADVICE GIVEN BY OCEAN SAFETY OFFICIALS AND EXERCISE CAUTION.
INFORMATION: Maui Civil Defense Agency will continue to monitor the situation. Please listen to your local radio and TV stations or NOAA Weather Radio for any updates. NOAA Weather broadcasts can be reached by calling 1-866-944-5025. NOAA Weather internet services can be found at www.weather.gov/hawaii.
Pre-recorded advisories and notifications are available 24-hours a day on the Maui County Automated Information System (AIS) by calling 986-1200. This same notification can be found on the Maui County website at www.mauicounty.gov.
Let’s be careful out there.