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Hurricane Season 2007: Flossie (Eastern Pacific)
Tropical Storm Flossie Sweeping by Hawaii With Rain

QuickScat image of Hurricane Flossie

During the early morning hours on Wednesday, August 15, 2007 the Central Pacific Hurricane Center in Honolulu still posted a tropical storm warning for the Big Island of Hawaii, as the center of Tropical Storm Flossie continued to pass offshore to the south of the island. That means that the Big Island can still experience wind gusts of more than 39 mph.

At 2:00 a.m. HST (1200 Zulu Time) the center of Tropical Storm Flossie was located near latitude 17.2 north and longitude 157.3 west. That's about 160 miles southwest of South Point, the south tip of the Big Island of Hawaii and about 290 miles south of Honolulu.

Flossie is moving toward the west near 10 mph and this motion is expected to continue through the early morning hours in Hawaii. Maximum sustained winds were near 60 mph with higher gusts. Continued weakening is forecast during the next 24 hours. Estimated minimum central pressure is 995 millibars. Currently, strong vertical wind shear is now tearing Flossie apart.

This image from NASA's QuikSCAT satellite was taken at 11:47 a.m. EDT on Monday, August 13. It depicts Flossie's wind speed in color and wind direction with small barbs. White barbs point to areas of heavy rain. The highest wind speeds, are shown in purple. At that time, Flossie was a hurricane, and was still east of the Big Island.

The local forecast for Hilo, Hawaii on Wednesday, August 15, 2007 calls for mostly cloudy skies with showers likely, and a high near 70. The new rainfall amounts are forecast to be between three and four inches.

To see rain from Flossie affecting the Big Island, go to the National Weather Service Kohala, Hawaii radar loop:

Image credit: NASA/JPL

Double Trouble for the Big Island of Hawaii: Flossie and Quakes

MODIS image of Hurricane Flossie

On Tuesday, August 14, 2007, the Big Island of Hawaii will feel Hurricane Flossie's effects after experiencing an earthquake the night before.

At 11:00 a.m. EDT, August 14, Hurricane Flossie was downgraded to a category two storm. It is on course to brush the Big Island of Hawaii today. Flossie has maximum sustained winds of 110 mph. At 5:00 a.m. EDT, Flossie was 260 miles south-southeast of Hilo, Hawaii moving west-northwest at 15 mph.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Aqua satellite captured this image of Hurricane Flossie on August 13 at 23:10 UTC (1:10 p.m. HST), as it swirled in the Pacific Ocean, approaching Hawaii.

According to local television station meteorologists at KHNL-TV, Channel 8, Hurricane Flossie's eye was starting to cloud over, indicating a sign of weakening. However, when a storm fills over, they stretch out over a larger area. Forecasters at KHNL-TV are calling for rainfall from 5 to 10 inches and very large surf up to 20 feet.

The earthquake which registered 5.3 on the Richter scale and hit at 7:38 p.m. HST on Monday the 13th, was centered 25 miles south of Hilo, Hawaii. That area is mainly rural with about 150,000 people, many of which live on the west or northeast side of the big island.

Image credit: NASA/Jesse Allen/MODIS Rapid Response team

Powerful Category Four Hurricane Flossie Nearing Hawaii

Cloudsat Image of Hurricane Flossie

On Monday, August 13, 2007 at 6:00 a.m. at Hawaii Standard Time (1600 UTC 12:00 p.m. EST) Hurricane Flossie was packing sustained winds of 120 knots (138 mph) and gusts to 145 knots (166 mph) as it nears the Big Island of Hawaii.

Forecasters and residents are keeping a watchful eye, after experiencing rains previously from Tropical Storms Erick and Delila. Flossie is currently a very powerful Category Four hurricane (out of Five), and is expected to be a Category Two hurricane as it passes south of the Big Island early on Wednesday.

At 6:00 a.m. HST, Flossie was near 14.6 degrees north latitude and 148.9 west longitude, about 431 nautical miles southeast of Hilo, Hawaii, and and moving west northwest at 13 knots (15 mph).

NASA's CloudSat satellite has proven useful in hurricane research. CloudSat's Cloud Profiling Radar captured a profile across Hurricane Flossie on Friday August 10th. The top image shows an infrared view of Flossie from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite, with CloudSat's ground track shown as a red line. The bottom image is the vertical cross section of radar reflectivity along this path. The colors indicate the intensity of the reflected radar energy. The top of Flossie's clouds reach up to 14 kilometers, or approximately 8.7 miles high.

Flossie is expected to pass south of the Big Island of Hawaii in the early morning hours of Wednesday, August 15. Residents should make preparations and listen to local forecasters for watches and warnings.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Colorado State University/Naval Research Laboratory-Monterey. Storm summary: Rob Gutro (from JTWC reports), Goddard Space Flight Center.

Hawaii's Big Island Watching Hurricane Flossie

GOES image of Tropical Storm Flossie
On August 10, by 11:00 a.m. EDT, Tropical Storm Flossie strengthened into a hurricane in the eastern Pacific Ocean. Hurricane Flossie was headed west toward the big island of Hawaii.

Forecasters noted that satellite imagery indicated that Flossie was strengthening as an eye (center) became more apparent in infrared imagery from the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES). Flossie is located in the lower center of this image, which was taken August 10 at 10:52 a.m. EDT (7:52 a.m. PDT). Looking closely, there is a small dark spot in the middle of Flossie. That dark spot is the eye of the hurricane. The image was created by NASA's GOES Project Science Office at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

On Friday, August 10 at 15:00 UTC (11:00 a.m. EDT), Flossie was located near 12.7 degrees north latitude and 136.0 west longitude. She was moving west at 12 knots (14 mph) and had a minimum central pressure of 987 millibars. Flossie was a Category 1 hurricane and was packing maximum sustained winds of 65 knots (74 mph) with gusts to 85 knots (97 mph).

The National Hurricane Center noted that slight strengthening is expected during the next 24 hours while Flossie remains over sea surface temperatures greater than 80 degrees Fahrenheit (F). Warm waters of around 80F are needed to continue to power and strengthen hurricanes.

Because sea surface temperatures along the westward forecast track cool, Flossie is expected to gradually weaken beyond 36 to 48 hours. That's good news, because Flossie is expected to pass to the south of the big island Tuesday night, August 14th. She is expected to bring rain and winds to the island as she passes. Image Credit: NOAA/NASA GOES Project; Storm summary: Rob Gutro (derived from NHS reports) Goddard Space Flight Center

Rob Gutro
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

(From JTWC Reports)