According to the latest reports of the Central Pacific Hurricane Center and County of Hawaii Civil Defense, Hurricane Hilda has been downgraded to a tropical storm, and the storm center is now predicted to pass south of the island. But a tropical storm watch is still in effect. The Big Island may have dodged the worst of the storm yet again, but with a weather system whose cloud canopy is far larger than the island (see satellite image below) we still could see some substantial impacts, especially in terms of rain.
According this evening’s Civil Defense bulletin, “As of 2:00 PM this afternoon, Hurricane Hilda was downgraded to a tropical storm and is currently located approximately 265 miles southeast of Hilo and moving in a west direction at 5 miles per hour. Currently, Tropical Storm Hilda continues to weaken and slow in its track and presently recording sustained winds of 65 miles per hour with higher gusts. The tropical Storm Watch for Hawaii Island remains in effect. In addition, the high surf warning issued for the east facing shores of Hawaii Island remains in effect through 6:00am Thursday morning. Surf heights of 12 to 18 feet along the east facing shores can be expected. A flash flood watch for Hawaii Island has been issued effective from 6:00 PM tomorrow, Wednesday August 12 through 6:00 AM Saturday. Although forecast conditions continue to show signs of weakening and a more southerly track, Hawaii Island may likely experience continued high surf as well as some gusty winds and heavy rains and thunder showers. We encourage everyone to continue to plan and prepare early for possible storm impacts and to monitor your local radio broadcasts for additionaupdates.”