Hurricane Iselle Weakens, Still Targeting Hawaii
Hurricane Iselle has rapidly gone from a Category 3 hurricane early Tuesday, to a Category 1 hurricane on Wednesday. Iselle’s dramatic weakening is a product of ingesting drier air and encountering some wind shear. But, will this trend continue?
Here’s what we know:
Hurricane Iselle is, at present, churning its way across the central Pacific — packing wind of 85-mph. The storm is currently located about 695 miles east-southeast of Honolulu and is moving the the north-northwest at 15-mph. Hurricane force-winds only extend about 30 miles form the center of circulation, a relatively short difference for a full-fledged hurricane. Worse yet for the storm, its central pressure is only at a paltry 985 millibars and the trend has the pressure rising in the coming hours. Rising pressure is an indication the storm is weakening.
As mentioned before, Iselle is encountering a large, dry air mass and some upper-level wind shear. In the tropics, these two elements make the environmental conditions adverse at best. While this may not be good news for the storm, it’s very much welcome news for the residents of Hawaii as significant weakening is expected by landfall, later this week.
Models continue to indicate that Iselle will make landfall as a tropical storm sometime late Thursday night, packing winds between 60 to 65-mph. However, based on the amount of wind shear and dry air the storm is encountering, it’s entirely likely Iselle could be even weaker than forecasted.
What to Expect
This is unlikely to be a big wind event for the Hawaiian Islands but rain, on the other hand, will be a major concern. Heavy rain could lead to inland flash flooding and residents of the Big Island should remain aware of what happening. Current forecast guidance suggests a broad swath of 5-8 inches of rain is possible, but under heavy rain bands as much as a foot isn’t totally out of the question.
WeatherNation meteorologists will be monitoring the situation as it develops.
Meteorologist Alan Raymond