Hurricane Guillermo continues to steadily weaken as it moves west-northwest toward the main Hawaiian Islands Sunday evening, according to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center.
The latest models bring the storm near or possibly directly over the islands on Wednesday and Thursday. Heavy rainfall and gusty winds between 35-40 mph are forecast for those days.
As of 11 p.m. Sunday, the storm is about 680 miles east-southeast of Hilo, and 890 miles east-southeast of Honolulu with maximum sustained winds at 75 mph (previously at 85 mph) with higher gusts.
Guillermo is moving at 10 mph and is expected to weaken into a tropical storm on Monday.
As the storm moves closer to Hawaii, the National Weather Service may issue watches as early as Monday morning for portions of the state. It is still too soon to determine which islands will experience the greatest impacts from Guillermo.
Large swells traveling ahead of Hurricane Guillermo will spread from east to west over the Hawaiian Islands through Monday. Surf will steadily build along east-facing shores and will likely become large and potentially life-threatening starting on Monday.
Summary of 5 p.m. information
- Location: 15.5N 145.0W
- About 725 miles ESE of Hilo
- Maximum sustained winds: 85 mph
- Present movement: WNW at 10 mph
- Minimum central pressure: 981 mb
The “hurricane hunters” of the U.S. Air Force 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron conducted its first reconnaissance early Sunday at 4 a.m. as they flew through the storm. Crews dropped special sensors known as dropsondes into the storm to measure wind speeds, pressure and temperature.
The three-plane squadron did two passes through the storm, and according to their findings, the eye of the storm is about 30 miles long.
The squadron will do round-the-clock observations every 12 hours, and as Guillermo gets closer to Hawaii, a plane will leave every nine hours.