HAWAII ISLAND – Tropical Storm Ignacio is 1,425 miles east southeast of Hilo and is blowing sustained winds of 60 mph out in the Eastern Pacific. Since Ignacio became a tropical storm on Tuesday, its forecasted track has put it in the vicinity of the Hawaiian Islands by early next week. A lot can change in that five day period, forecasters usually remind the public. The people of Hawaii have already seen threats from storms Guillermo, Hilda, even the suddenly formed Kilo, come and go.
Ignacio is expected to become stronger. “Conditions appear favorable for strengthening of Ignacio,” reports the National Weather Service, “with a warm and moist environment likely for the next several days in the storm’s path. The biggest question mark is the vertical wind shear, which some models show increasing a bit in a day or two. Perhaps this is why none of the reliable models show any more than gradual strengthening, although the SHIPS rapid intensification index shows a 28 percent chance of a 30-kt change over the next 24 hours. Considering most of the guidance has had a low bias this year, the official forecast will stay higher than the model consensus, but not
quite as high as the Florida State Superensemble.”
As it nears Hawaii, Ignacio is expected to begin weakening due to increasing shear and cooler waters. As far as the storm’s track:
“A recent microwave pass shows that Ignacio is on track and is moving about 265/8. The storm should be moving around the southern and southwestern periphery of the subtropical ridge for the next several days, causing the storm to move westward today and then west-northwestward on Thursday through late week. The latest guidance has shifted a bit to the north at day 3 and beyond, perhaps due to a slightly weaker subtropical ridge to the northeast of Hawaii. The official forecast is adjusted northward at long range, although it remains south of the model consensus at 120 hours.” – National Weather Service at 8 a.m. PDT