Olaf weakens to tropical storm, moves out of Hawaii’s Central Pacific area

Local News
olaf NOAA oct. 26 11am_125561

*Because the storm has moved out of the Central Pacific basin and away from Hawaii, this will be the last report on Olaf.*

At 11:00 a.m., the center of Tropical Storm Olaf was about 1,160 miles east-northeast of Hilo.

Olaf is moving toward the east near 22 mph and this motion is expected to continue over the next 24 hours, followed by a decrease in forward speed and a turn toward the south.

Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 60 mph with higher gusts. Steady weakening is expected over the next 48 hours.

Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 160 miles from the center.

The estimated minimum central pressure is 992 mb.

Summary of 11 a.m. information
  • Location: 25.7N 138.1W
  • About 1,290 mi ENE of Honolulu
  • About 1,160 mi ENE of Hilo
  • Maximum sustained winds: 60 mph
  • Present movement: E at 22 mph
  • Minimum central pressure: 992 mb

Discussion:

Earlier data suggested that Olaf was a sheared system with a low level center significantly displaced southwest of the deep convection. However, satellite, microwave and lightning data from right around the 1800 utc synoptic hour and more recent data indicate that the center is actually east of 140w, or may have redeveloped closer to the deep convection.

As a result, a significant adjustment has been made to the working best track in terms of initial position and motion.

Despite the morning surprise and the adjustment in initial position, the overall basis for the forecast track remains the same. Olaf is expected to ride a steering current provided by a deep layer low pressure system moving toward the northeast. Vertical shear is still expected to completely decouple the lower level circulation from the middle and upper levels over the next 24 to 36 hours.

A high pressure ridge is forecast to build north of the cyclone beyond 48 hours and move what is left of Olaf toward the south and then west in a clockwise loop.

Olaf is still expected to continue weakening in the face of persistent strong vertical wind shear and sea surface temperatures below 26 c. Sea surface temperatures should also be cooling along the forecast track. Thus, the forecast calls for Olaf to weaken to a tropical depression over the next 24 to 36 hours, then become a remnant low by 48 hours.

Since Olaf has moved east of 140w, this will be the last advisory issued by the Central Pacific Hurricane Center on this tropical cyclone.


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