Hilo high surf from Hurricane Guillermo was expected to reach the Big Island today, and theNOAA’s National Weather Center is predicting that epicenter may pass just north of Hilo, though it’s hedging its bets.
“As of 5:00PM this afternoon, Hurricane Guillermo was located approximately 725 miles east/southeast of Hilo and moving in a west/northwest direction at 10 miles per hour,” read the latest Hawaii Civil Defense notice, posted at around 5:30 this afternoon. “Currently, Guillermo has sustained winds of 85 miles per hour with higher gusts. No watches or warnings are in effect at this time and the Civil Defense Agency continues to maintain close communication with the National Weather Service and monitoring the system. A high surf advisory has been issued for east facing shores and high surf conditions are being reported in areas of Hilo, Puna, and Kau. Surf conditions are expected to build through the night. The high surf advisory will be in effect from noon today through 6:00 p.m. Tuesday August 4th. …. The community is encouraged to take this time to prepare for possible storm impacts that could include high surf, strong winds, and heavy rains. Although there is some indication the system will continue to weaken, early preparations are recommended and encouraged.
The latest National Weather Service report noted that the storm’s center was becoming slightly less organized, but was still strong. It noted that the storm is “heading toward a shear environment,” which should lead to a “gradual weakening,” but it’s still expected to hit the island with tropical-storm force winds within 120 hours. Graphics released by the center show the epicenter of the storm passing just north of the Hilo and Hamakua coasts.
The NHC said it was now handing over jurisdiction of the storm to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center on O’ahu; future reports will come from there.