Tropical Storm Howard Turns South

At 800 PM PDT (0300 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Howard was located near latitude 17.7 North, longitude 126.4 West.

TS Howard

Howard is moving toward the west-northwest near 14 mph (22 km/h), and this general motion with a slight increase in forward speed is forecast during the next couple of days.

Maximum sustained winds remain near 50 mph (85 km/h) with higher gusts.  Some additional strengthening is possible during the next 12 hours or so, but weakening should commence by Tuesday night.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles (110 km) from the center.

The estimated minimum central pressure is 999 mb (29.50 inches).


Visible imagery and a 01/2038 UTC AMSR2 microwave pass show that Howard’s center of circulation has become exposed to the west of the cloud canopy.  Additionally, the entire western half of the cyclone has become devoid of deep convective banding.  It appears that modest westerly shear is impinging on the storm and undercutting the diffluent flow aloft.  A blend of the Final-T numbers from both TAFB and SAB yields an initial intensity of 45 kt for this advisory.  Some additional strengthening is forecast during the next 12 hours while Howard remains over SSTs greater than 26C.

By the 24 hour period, the cyclone is expected to move over cooler sub-24 deg C water. Cooler SSTs and increasing southwesterly shear should induce steady weakening, resulting in Howard degenerating into a post-tropical cyclone in 48 hours, and a remnant low by day 3.

After that time, the large-scale models show the remnant low degenerating into a trough of low pressure.  The intensity forecast is a little above the previous forecast, but is lower than the IVCN intensity consensus.

Satellite position estimates suggest that Howard is moving toward the west-northwest, or 295 degrees, at about 12 kt.  Howard is expected to move in a general west-northwestward motion during the next 72 hours along the southern periphery of a subtropical ridge located to the north of the cyclone.  Through the remainder of the period, the cyclone is forecast to become a shallow remnant low and turn toward the west following the low-level easterly tradewind flow.  The official NHC forecast is quite similar to the previous one, and is hedged toward the TVCN multi-model consensus.


Happy 100th Birthday Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Kīlauea is putting on quite a show for park visitors eager to see a volcanic eruption – just like it was 100 years ago today when Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park was established on August 1, 1916.

Visitors were treated to free entry to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park on its 100th anniversary, August 1. The entrance station was draped in two 40-foot tī leaf lei made by park staff . NPS Photo/Sami Steinkamp

Visitors were treated to free entry to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park on its 100th anniversary, August 1. The entrance station was draped in two 40-foot tī leaf lei made by park staff . NPS Photo/Sami Steinkamp

Today, as the park enters its next century, park visitors were treated to free entry,  a native plant giveaway, Hawaiian music by Ken Makuakāne, lei making and kōnane (Hawaiian checkers), plus presentations about park efforts to save endangered nēnē (Hawaiian goose) and honu‘ea (Hawaiian hawksbill turtle). Lava cookies and centennial stickers were shared with the first 100 visitors who arrived for the festivities.

A lava lake within Halema‘uma‘u Crater at the volcano’s 4,000-foot summit continues to rise and spatter, deflate and degas. At night, the lake casts a magnificent glow; by day, a plume of steam, particles and gas billows upward. Visitors can easily and safely observe this eruptive activity from an accessible overlook at Jaggar Museum.

“It is amazing that in 1916, the year the park was established, we had two eruptions. Mauna Loa erupted during May, and sent lava towards Kahuku, and Halema‘uma‘u fountained and spattered,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando.  “Fast forward 100 years and Kīlauea erupts from two locations. What an auspicious way to commemorate our centennial anniversary,” she said.

A week ago, out in the volcano’s remote east rift zone, lava from the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō vent streamed down forested cliffs and crossed an emergency access route. Early the next morning, streams of rough ‘a‘ā and smooth, viscous pāhoehoe lava plunged down jagged coastal cliffs into the ocean. This cascade of molten lava, at the Kamokuna ocean entry, has enlarged to almost 800 feet (240 m) across and is being fed by the active flow field on the coastal plain.

Park visitors are urged to stay away from the steep, unstable sea cliffs, and rangers have placed rope barriers along the ocean entry to keep people safe.

hvo roped

Visitors observe the beauty of the Kamokuna ocean entry on the eve of the Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park’s 100th anniversary. Rangers have placed rope barricades to keep people away from the unstable, steep cliff edges, flying volcanic debris and fumes, and bench collapse. NPS Photo/Sami Steinkamp

Hikers can access the active flow field from the end of Chain of Craters Road in the park, along the gravel emergency route (Chain of Craters-Kalapana Road), and are rewarded with beautiful sights of molten, flowing lava. It’s a long and hot hike, nearly five miles one-way. Preparation is key. Bring at least three to four quarts of water per person. Wear sturdy closed-toe hiking shoes or boots, gloves to protect the hands, and long pants to protect against lava rock abrasions. Wear sunblock, sunglasses and a hat. Visitors who plan to stay after dark need a flashlight and/or headlamp with extra batteries.

“There’s no way to tell what Kīlauea will do next, and it’s likely that someone will be saying the same thing 100 years from now,” Orlando said.