Jimena to Fuel Flooding Downpours in Hawaii Into the Weekend

By By Kristina Pydynowski, senior meteorologist
September 10, 2015, 1:18:00 AM EDT

The unusual track of Jimena will bring localized flooding to Hawaii through at least the first part of this weekend.

"Jimena will continue to track west through Friday, taking a path just north of Hawaii," AccuWeather Meteorologist Andy Mussoline said. "A high pressure system to the north will steer Jimena in this direction."


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The track of Jimena is already unusual due to how far north it has pushed as a hurricane/tropical storm, albeit weakening. Typically, the high that Mussoline discussed is located farther south and prevents tropical systems from coming as far north as Jimena's current location.

In addition, water temperatures northeast of Hawaii are normally too cool to support tropical systems. Although there is warm water, disruptive wind shear will force Jimena to weaken over the next couple of days.

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"Though Jimena will weaken, it will bring locally heavy rain indirectly to the Hawaiian islands, especially Friday and Saturday," Mussoline said.

As Jimena bypasses Hawaii to the north, the counter-clockwise circulation around the tropical cyclone will draw in tropical moisture across the islands.

The enhanced moisture will fuel some flooding downpours across the entire island chain, mainly Friday and Saturday. The downpours will be hit-or-miss, so it will not be a complete washout for the islands. But the intensity of the rain is the main concern.

The downpours could be heavy enough to trigger flash flooding in the mountains. If you ever encounter a water-covered road, turn around and find an alternate route.

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As Jimena weakens, so will the rough surf and dangerous wave action. Dangerous waves have been pounding the east- and northeast-facing shores of Hawaii over the past week, but they will lower significant by Friday.

Jimena will race northward and away from Hawaii Saturday night into Sunday as it becomes absorbed into a non-tropical system. As it quickly pulls away, the weather will improve drastically Sunday into Monday as sunshine and drier weather returns to the islands.

The 2015 hurricane season has been very active in the central Pacific and is likely to continue through the month and into October, due in a large part to El Niño.

AccuWeather Meteorologist Andy Mussoline contributed content to this story.

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