(above) The latest 5-Day Forecast Track from the National Weather Service shows Hurricane Iselle crashing straight into Hawaii Island.
HILO, Hawaii – Time is running out for Hurricane Iselle to change course before impacting Hawaii Island. The latest track shows a direct hit; Iselle making landfall over East Hawaii as a hurricane.
The center of Iselle is located 405 miles away from Hilo. Iselle is moving toward the west-northwest near 18 mph, and this motion is expected to continue through Thursday, with some slowing in forward speed on Friday. Maximum sustained winds are near 90 mph, meaning Iselle has held its intensity as a Category One Hurricane. Some weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours, but Iselle is now expected to be a hurricane as it passes near or over the Big Island.
From the 11 p.m. discussion:
The intensity forecast remains a challenge. A general weakening trend is still expected through the forecast period… But the latest forecast maintains Iselle as a hurricane as it approaches windward Big Island on Thursday. Iselle has been wedged between a ridge aloft centered west of the main Hawaiian Islands and a ridge centered over the Baja Peninsula over the past 24 to 36 hours. Iselle moved under a col between these ridges earlier today… Which allowed shear to relax over the system… Leading to a brief intensification trend. Global models are offering conflicting signals with respect to the juxtaposition of Iselle and this col. The gfs is indicating the ridge west of Hawaii will shift west and maintain the col and relatively light shear north of Iselle… While the ecmwf indicates little movement of the ridge… Indicating that stronger shear lies along the future path of Iselle. Latest satellite images show high clouds streaming rapidly southwest from the top of Iselle… Which would indicate it is currently feeling the shearing effects of the ridge to the west. The forecast anticipates the shear to increase after 24 hours… Leading to a more rapid weakening. National Weather Service at 11 p.m. HST