Jimena May Recurve Toward Hawaii Following Labor Day
By By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather.com senior meteorologist.
September 06, 2015, 9:18:08 AM EDT
While Jimena appears to be tracking away from Hawaii, the islands remain on alert for Jimena to turn back toward and threaten the islands next week.
Jimena weakened to a tropical storm as it tracks to the northwest, seemingly on a path that would bypass the islands.
High pressure to the north is expected to strengthen and begin to alter the path of Jimena this weekend.
According to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Bob Smerbeck, "The strengthening high is due to Ignacio hanging on. The high will block the path of Jimena and is likely to turn the storm to the west on or after Labor Day."
From there, depending on how much the high builds, the system could turn more to the southwest or continue moving toward the west.
According to AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski, typically, the vast majority of tropical systems that track southwestward tend to weaken, due to atmospheric physics.
"There has never been a full-blown tropical storm or hurricane approach and strike Hawaii from the northeast, from that part of the Pacific, based on records since 1950," Kottlowski said.
Jimena is also expected to weaken through next week but should not dissipate completely as it approaches Hawaii, meaning residents and visitors cannot let their guard down completely.
Surf conditions will remain relatively rough around Hawaii this weekend on the east- and north-facing beaches due to Jimena to the northeast with no improvement next week, especially for the western islands, as Jimena approaches.
Jimena will reach or make its closest approach to the western Hawaiian Islands during the second half of next week.
"How rough the surf gets and whether or not there will be an increase in squalls with drenching showers and gusty thunderstorms will depend on the track and strength of the system," stated Smerbeck.
"Even if Jimena passes by to the north but still tracks close enough to Hawaii, it could still tap into tropical moisture and lead to flooding downpours across the islands," Smerbeck continued. "More heavy rain could follow if Jimena then stalls west of Hawaii."
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.
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