Tag Archives: Hilo

Lane Strengthens Into a Hurricane

Former Tropical Storm Lane strengthened into a hurricane on Thursday night.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Hurricane Lane was located at latitude 11.2°N and longitude 129.8°W which put it about 1780 miles (2865 km) east-southeast of Hilo, Hawaii.  Lane was moving toward the west-northwest at 15 m.p.h. (24 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 90 m.p.h. (145 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 992 mb.

The circulation of Hurricane Lane became much better organized.  A primary rainband wrapped most of the way around the center of circulation and it could become an eyewall.  Several bands of showers and thunderstorms in the southern and eastern parts of the circulation were revolving around the core of Hurricane Lane.  Storms near the core were generating strong upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the hurricane in all directions.  Winds to hurricane force extended out about 20 miles (30 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 60 miles (95 km) from the center.

Hurricane Lane will be moving through an environment that will be favorable for intensification during the next several days.  Lane will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 28°C.  It will move through a region where the upper level winds are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear.  Hurricane Lane will intensify during the next 36 to 48 hours and it could intensify rapidly once a well developed eye forms.

Hurricane Lane will move south of the subtropical high over the Eastern North Pacific Ocean.  The high will steer Lane in a general west-northwesterly direction during the next few days.  On its anticipated track Hurricane Lane could be southeast of Hawaii by early next week.

Recon Finds Hurricane Hector Nearly at Category 5

An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter reconnaissance aircraft found on Monday that Hurricane Hector had strengthened to nearly Category 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Monday the center of Hurricane Hector was located at latitude 15.2°N and longitude 143.1°W which put it about 870 miles (1405 km) east-southeast of South Point, Hawaii.  Hector was moving toward the west at 16 m.p.h. (26 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 155 m.p.h. (250 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 190 m.p.h. (305 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 936 mb.  A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Hawaii County.

Hurricane Hector has a very symmetrical, well formed circulation.  There is a circular eye with a diameter of 19 miles (31 km) at the center of circulation.  The eye is surrounded by a ring of strong thunderstorms and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms.  Several bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Hurricane Hector.  Storms near the core were generating well developed upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the hurricane in all directions.

The circulation of Hurricane Hector is compact.  Winds to hurricane force extend out about 35 miles (55 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extend out about 105 miles (170 km) from the center.  The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Hurricane Hector is 33.3.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) is 12.1 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) is 45.4.

Hurricane Hector will remain in its current environment for several more days.  Hector will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 27°C.  It will move through a region where the upper level winds are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear.  If a rainband wraps around the eye and eyewall, then an eyewall replacement cycle could occur.  Eyewall replacement cycles cause weakening at first while the inner eyewall dissipates.  Hurricanes can restrengthen if the outer eyewall starts for move closer to the center of circulation.  Most very powerful hurricanes only stay very intense for 12 to 24 hours before they start to weaken.  If takes a lot of energy to drive an intense hurricane and if Hector moves into an environment that is a little less favorable, then it could weaken.

Hurricane Hector will move south of the subtropical high pressure system over the Eastern and Central North Pacific Ocean.  The subtropical high will steer Hector in a general westerly direction during the next few days.  On its anticipated track Hurricane Hector will be southeast of Hawaii by Wednesday morning.  The core of Hurricane Hector is forecast to pass south of Hawaii, but it could come close enough to cause tropical storm force winds which is the reason for the Tropical Storm Watch.

Hector Strengthens Into a Major Hurricane

Hurricane Hector strengthened to Category 3 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale on Friday night which made it a major hurricane.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Friday the center of Hurricane Hector was located at latitude 14.2°N and longitude 130.9°W which put it about 1640 miles (2640 km) east of Hilo, Hawaii.  Hector was moving toward the west at 12 m.p.h. (19 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 120 m.p.h. (195 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 140 m.p.h. (225 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 967 mb.

Hurricane Hector strengthened on Friday night despite having a double eyewall structure.  There was a small inner eye surrounded by a ring of strong thunderstorms and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms.  A clear ring sometimes called a moat surrounded the inner eyewall.  The moat was surrounded by an outer eyewall that consisted of showers and thunderstorms.  Several other bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the concentric eyewalls.  Thunderstorms in the core of Hurricane Hector were generating strong upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the hurricane in all directions.

The circulation of Hurricane Hector was small.  Winds to hurricane force only extended out about 20 miles (30 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force only extended out about 70 miles (110 km) from the center.

Hurricane Hector will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the weekend.  Hector will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is between 27°C and 28°C.  It will move through an area where the upper level winds are weak.  However, the existence of concentric eyewalls means that an eyewall replacement cycle will occur at some time in the future.  The eyewall replacement will cause Hurricane Hector to weaken when the inner eyewall dissipates and the strongest winds are found in the outer eyewall.  Hector could begin to intensify again if the outer eyewall begins to contract closer to the center of circulation.

Hurricane Hector will move south of the subtropical high pressure system over the Eastern North Pacific Ocean and the high will steer Hector westward during the next few days.  On its anticipated track Hurricane Hector could be southeast of Hawaii in four or five days.