Hurricane Ignacio, which strengthened to a dangerous Category 4 Hurricane yesterday, is still a Category 4 today and likely will still be a full fledged hurricane when it passes North of the Big Island on Monday, though the Natioonal Weather Service does say it will “weaken through Tuesday.” It’s predicted to pass far enough north of us, however, that this island is more likely to get tropical storm force winds and rain. Surf may now reach 15 to 20 feet.
Here’s the 5 a.m. Hawaii County Civil Defense notice:
“The National weather Service Tropical Storm Watch for Hawaii Island remains in effect. Hawaii Island could begin to experience tropical storm conditions starting late tonight and into early tomorrow. As of 5:00 AM this morning Hurricane Ignacio remains a category 4 hurricane and was located approximately 450 miles east of Hilo and moving in a northwest direction at 9 miles per hour. Currently Ignacio is recording sustained winds of 140 miles per hour with higher gusts. Hurricane force winds extend outwards from the center up to 30 miles and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 125 miles.
“A High Surf Warning has been issued for the east facing shores of Hawaii Island through 6:00PM Tuesday evening. Surf heights are expected to increase today and building to possibly 15 to 20 feet. Residents in low lying coastal areas and boat owners are advised to take necessary precautions.
“Based on the current forecast track and possible impacts, emergency shelters will be opened later today and the public is advised to monitor upcoming radio messages for information on shelter locations and sites. Information will also be posted on the Hawaii County Civil Defense web site at http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/civil-defense/.
“The Civil Defense Agency will continue to maintain close communication with the National Weather Service and monitor the system. The community is encouraged to take the time to prepare early for possible storm impacts that could include high surf, strong winds, and heavy rains. Please monitor your local radio broadcasts for additional updates.”
The latest storm track. Remember, the white area is the predicted cone of possibility of the passage of the storm’s eye, not the width of the storm:
Th latest enhanced satellite image, which gives a better idea of the scale of the storm: