Tropical Storm Olivia Nears Hawaii

Tropical Storm Olivia moved closer to Hawaii on Tuesday.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday the center of Tropical Storm Olivia was located at latitude 21.6°N and longitude 152.3°W which put it about 275 miles (440 km) east of Kahului, Hawaii.  Olivia was moving toward the west at 17 m.p.h. (28 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1000 mb.

Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for Oahu, Hawaii County, Maui County including Maui, Molokai, Lanai and Kahoolawe, and for Kauai County including Kauai and Niihau.

Tropical Storm Olivia was weakening as it neared Hawaii.  An upper level trough north of Hawaii was producing strong westerly winds which were blowing across the top of the circulation.  Those winds caused significant vertical wind shear and they blew the tops off thunderstorms near the center of circulations.  Bands near the center and in the western half of Tropical Storm Olivia consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds.  There were still a few taller thunderstorms in bands on the far eastern side of the circulation.

Since Tropical Storm Olivia consisted mostly of a circulation in the lower levels of the atmosphere, it was being steered by the winds in the lower levels.  Olivia was moving south of the subtropical high over the central Pacific Ocean.  That high steered Tropical Storm Olivia quickly to the west on Tuesday and it will continue to do so.  On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Olivia will reach Hawaii on Wednesday.  Olivia will bring some gusty winds and it could drop locally heavy rain, especially where the wind rises over hills and mountains.