HONOLULU – (KHON2) Hurricane Barbara is now a category 2 hurricane with wind around the center at 110 mph.
Further intensification is possible over the next 24 hours as the system will be in a low wind shear environment, and sufficiently warm sea surface temperatures. On Wednesday or Thursday, a weakening trend could begin.
Increasing wind shear could weaken Barbara back to a tropical storm as it crosses into the Central Pacific on Saturday.
Gradual weakening is expected but the Hawaiian Islands may see heavy rain from the remnants of Barbara starting late Monday.
The center of Hurricane Barbara was located near latitude 12.0 north, longitude 121.1 west. Barbara is moving toward the west near 15 mph (24 km/h).
A turn toward the west-northwest with a decrease in forward speed is expected to begin on Tuesday and continue into Wednesday, followed by a turn toward the northwest on Thursday.
Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 110 mph (175 km/h) with higher gusts.
Additional strengthening is forecast during the next day or two, and Barbara is expected to become a major hurricane soon.
Weakening is likely to begin on Wednesday and continue into Thursday.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles (35 km) from the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 185 miles (295 km).