The National Weather Service has issued a Tropical Storm Watch for Hawaii and Maui Counties. Tropical storm conditions including high surf, strong winds, and heavy rains may occur on the Big Island and in adjacent waters within 48 hours. As of 5:00 p.m. this afternoon, Tropical Storm Guillermo, epicenter was located approximately 515 miles east of Hilo and moving in a northwest direction at 10 miles per hour. Currently, Guillermo has sustained winds of 65 miles per hour with higher gusts.
The high surf advisory issued for the east facing shores remains in effect and high surf conditions have been reported in the areas of Hilo, Puna and Ka`u. Hazardous high surf conditions can coincide with the peak high tide time of 5:37 p.m. this afternoon.
The National Weather Service has noted some signs that the system will continue to weaken, but it’s still expected to retain its storm status when it reaches this island. The latest forecast maps continue to show the storm epicenter passing just north of the island’s windward coast. Residents should be prepared for high winds, heavy rains, downed trees and possibly extensive power outages. Stock up on non-refrigerated groceries, freeze some extra ice, and make sure your pets are someplace dry and secure (one of the tragedies of Tropical Storm Iselle, the most recent storm of similar intensity to hit the island, was a number of lost cats and dogs)
This graphic from the National Weather Service shows probabilities of sustained (1-minute average) surface wind speeds equal to or exceeding 50 kt…58 mph. These wind speed probability graphics are based on the official National Hurricane Center (NHC) track, intensity, and wind radii forecasts, and on NHC forecast error statistics for those forecast variables during recent years. The purple indicates 100 percent probability of storm force winds, the green, 5 percent, at the time of the map’s creation. Those probabilities will change as the storm moves forward.
The graphic below shows the predicted path of the storm. The shaded and white areas indicate the potential track area for the epicenter of the storm, and not the actual size of the storm, which can affect areas hundreds of miles from the epicenter.