The latest National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasts for Tropical Storm Ana now have the storm passing south of the Big Island tomorrow. Contrary to predictions yesterday, Ana is still a tropical storm at this time—in fact, it’s weakened since yesterday, with top winds of only 60 miles per hour– though it may yet reach hurricane status.
The latest map has the “cone of uncertainty,” for the first time, passing just south of Hawai`i Island. After skirting the Kona Coast, it angles northwestward, so that it still encompasses West Maui, Molokai, Lanai, O`ahu and Kauai. The “cone of uncertainty”, however, is defined as the region within which the hurricane has a 66 percent chance of passing, so if one assumes that the other 33 percent has an equal chance of deviating to the north or south, there’s still about a 16.5 percent chance the storm will hit the Big Island. The island is still under a tropical storm watch, with the possibility of high winds and flooding.
All public and charter schools on the Big Island, however, have announced that they will be closed tomorrow in anticipation of the storm’s passing.