Ignacio to Bring Big Surf to Hawaii This Week

By By Chyna Glenn, AccuWeather Meteorologist
September 03, 2015, 9:13:43 AM EDT

Ignacio restrengthened into a category 1 hurricane as it continues to move away from Hawaii.

While there were three major hurricanes churning in the Pacific Ocean this past weekend with Ignacio joining Hurricane Jimena and Hurricane Kilo in achieving that status, Ignacio dropped below Category 3 status on Monday morning.

Latest indications point toward Jimena remaining over the open waters of the Pacific this week, posing only hazards to shipping interests. Tropical Depression 14 formed on Monday and will make a track toward Mexico. Ignacio, on the other hand, will continue to move away from Hawaii with some impact on the islands.


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Ignacio is about 375 miles north of Lihue, Hawaii, and is forecast to continue to move northwestward through Thursday.

The threat for rip currents and rough seas will continue across the Hawaiian Islands with the potential to be dangerous for bathers and borders.

High Surf Warnings on the Big Island, Hawaii


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According to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Michael LeSeney, "Dangerous swells and rough surf will continue to impact the islands over the next few days."

"Some of the high surf will cause overwash on north-facing shores," he added.


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The northwestward movement will bring Ignacio into an environment of cooler ocean waters, drier air and increasing shear.

Wind shear is the change in direction and speed of the air through different levels of the atmosphere.

These factors will cause Ignacio to continue to weaken this week.

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As Ignacio treks to the north of Hawaii, the heaviest rain and damaging winds will bypass the islands. Locally heavy downpours will continue across the islands through Thursday. Seas will be most dangerous to boaters and swimmers at the north-facing beaches.

These waves, however, will be beneficial for surfers.


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Hurricane Jimena is not expected to be a threat to the islands. The system will likely turn to the north long before reaching Hawaii.

Kilo has crossed into the western Pacific basin and continues to move away from Hawaii. Since the system is in the western Pacific, it is now called a typhoon.


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During Hiki, the Central Pacific Hurricane Center reports the Kanalohuluhulu Ranger Station on Kauai measured more than 52 inches of rain between noon on Aug. 14 and noon of Aug. 18.

"Such heavy totals likely resulted from Hiki turning to the southwest, allowing tropical moisture to be fed into Kauai," stated AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski. "With Ignacio set to maintain its northwest heading, a repeat of such extreme rainfall is not expected."

The above-average number of tropical systems impacting Hawaii this year can be attributed to El Niño.

AccuWeather Meteorologists Brett Rathbun and Alex Sosnowski also contributed content to this story.

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