Tropical Storm Ana is expected become a hurricane this afternoon. According to the current predicted path, the hurricane’s predicted path is most likely to take it just south of South Point on Friday afternoon, and it’s expected to remain a Category One hurricane as it passes along the islands. The predicted path makes it a threat to all the major islands. But the brunt may be taken by Ka`u.
The NWS’s “cone of uncertainty” would allow the storm to pass either north or south of the major islands, but the current most likely track suggest a leeward passage. Storm winds are expected to average around 75 mph, and waves along southeast shores are expected to be 15-30 feet tall.
According to a National Weather Service press conference at 2 p.m. today, the storm is currently 630 miles southeast of Hilo, with maximum sustained winds of 70 miles per hour. It’s expected to strengthen to 75 mph this afternoon, and to maintain approximately its course until late Friday, then angle northwestward—basically passing right up the island chain, endangering Maui, Lanai, Molokai, Oahu and Kaui. Unlike Tropical Storme Iselle, which hit Hawaii Island directly and tore itself to pieces on the island’s mountains, Ana is expected to strike only a glancing blow to this island; although the terrain may affect the storm, it’s expected to survive as an intact hurricane. Ana is expected to slowly weaken as it passes through the island chain, but to remain a low-level hurricane until it reaches the area of Kaui on Monday. Effects could be similar to Iselle, with downed trees, disrupted power and heavy storm surge–except this time, it could affect the entire state. The State Emergency Management Agency recommends that all island residents stock up on at least a week’s worth of food and other supplies before the storm hits.
The National Weather Service will hold another press briefing at 2 p.m. tomorrow.