Update on Hurricane Hilda – Flights Into Eye to Begin on Regular Basis

DATA COLLECTED BY U.S. 53RD WEATHER RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT WAS CRITICAL IN DETERMINING THE INITIAL INTENSITY AND WIND STRUCTURE OF HILDA THIS EVENING.

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ALTHOUGH HILDA IS ENCOUNTERING A PROVERBIAL WALL OF SHEAR…WITH ANALYSES FROM UW-CIMSS INDICATING AROUND 35 KT OF SOUTHWESTERLY SHEAR…HILDA HAS THUS FAR BEEN ABLE TO MAINTAIN AN INNER CORE.

Hilda SatMAXIMUM SFMR WINDS ON THE INITIAL PENETRATION WERE NEAR 80 KT…AND A REDUCTION OF MAXIMUM FLIGHT LEVEL WINDS YIELDS SURFACE WINDS 0F 77 KT…THUS THE INITIAL INTENSITY WILL BE MAINTAINED AT 80 KT FOR THIS ADVISORY.

A 25 TO 30 NM WIDE EYE WAS NOTED BY THE FLIGHT CREW TO BE OPEN TO THE SOUTHWEST…WHICH WAS NICELY HIGHLIGHTED BY 0405Z SSMI/S AND 0411Z GPM MICROWAVE OVERPASSES.

IN COORDINATION WITH CHIEF…AERIAL RECONNAISSANCE COORDINATION…ALL HURRICANES /CARCAH/…FLIGHTS INTO HILDA WILL BEGIN AT 6 HOURLY INTERVALS STARTING TUESDAY EVENING…WITH THE NEXT MISSION SLATED FOR TUESDAY MORNING.

THE AIRCRAFT CENTER FIXES INDICATED THAT HILDA WAS MOVING VERY SLOWLY…HAVING MOVED ABOUT 7 NM TOWARD THE NORTH-NORTHWEST IN 2 HOURS. A SLIGHTLY LONGER TERM INITIAL MOTION ESTIMATE FOR THIS ADVISORY IS DETERMINED TO BE 315/04 KT. ALTHOUGH THE UPPER LEVEL FLOW OVER HILDA FEATURES RELATIVELY STRONG WESTERLY WINDS…THE CYCLONE IS CURRENTLY IN AN AREA OF LIGHT STEERING WINDS.

OVER THE NEXT 36 HOURS…HILDA IS FORECAST TO MOVE SLOWLY TOWARD THE NORTHWEST…STEERED BY THE WEAK CURRENTS BETWEEN A LOW ALOFT NORTH OF HAWAII…AND A HIGH TO THE DISTANT EAST. THIS WILL LEAD TO GRADUAL WEAKENING…DUE TO STRONG UPPER LEVEL WESTERLIES SHEARING AT LEAST THE UPPER PORTIONS OF THE CYCLONE NORTHEASTWARD. A TURN TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST AND A SLIGHT ACCELERATION ARE EXPECTED THEREAFTER AS HILDA BECOMES INCREASINGLY SHALLOW AND THE VERTICAL STRUCTURE OF THE CYCLONE BECOMES INCREASINGLY COMPROMISED.

THE OFFICIAL TRACK AND INTENSITY FORECASTS FOR THIS PACKAGE CLOSELY FOLLOW THE PREVIOUS…WITH THE TRACK PARALLELING THE TVCN CONSENSUS…AND CLOSE TO THE LATEST HWRF GUIDANCE. AFTER ACCOUNTING FOR THE INITIAL INTENSITY…THE OFFICIAL FORECAST CLOSELY FOLLOWS THE PREVIOUS…AND IS CLOSE TO SHIPS GUIDANCE THROUGH 48 HOURS. THE RATE OF WEAKENING THEREAFTER IS CLOSE TO THE IVCN CONSENSUS…AND SLOWER THAN SHIPS GUIDANCE…AND ANTICIPATES THAT HILDA WILL BECOME A REMNANT LOW BY THE END OF THE FORECAST PERIOD.

ON THE FORECAST TRACK…A TROPICAL STORM WATCH MAY BE REQUIRED FOR THE BIG ISLAND…POSSIBLY AS EARLY AS TUESDAY MORNING. UNCERTAINTY REMAINS AS TO THE EVENTUAL IMPACTS THAT MAY BE FELT IN THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS FROM HILDA…BUT THE POTENTIAL FOR LARGE SURF AND VERY HEAVY RAINFALL APPEARS TO BE INCREASING.

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