Since Daniel has crossed into the central Pacific, the Central Pacific Hurricane Center (CPHC) in Honolulu has now assumed responsibility for Daniel. With its latest discussion, CPHC is forecasting Daniel to strike the Hawaiian Islands on Friday as a strong tropical storm with sustained winds of 58 mph. Currently Daniel is a category 1 hurricane with 90 mph sustained winds.
WHILE THE FORECAST TRACK TAKES DANIEL OVER 25 DEGREES C WATER THROUGH 72 HOURS...THIS SYSTEM WILL SEE WARMER WATER AS IT ENCOUNTERS THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS. PASSING LEE OF THE ISLANDS...DANIEL MAY PASS OVER WATER AS WARM AS 27 OR 28 DEGREES C AT 120 HOURS AND BEYOND. THE SHEAR ENVIRONMENT IS CURRENTLY NOT FAVORABLE FOR FURTHER DEVELOPMENT...BASED ON UW-CIMMS GUIDANCE. HOWEVER...ECMWF AND WRF SHOWS SHEAR SHOULD DECREASE BEYOND 72 HOURS. GFS WANTS TO RE-INTENSIFY THIS SYSTEM BETWEEN 96 AND 120 HOURS...WHILE ALL OTHER MODELS SHOW A GRADUAL WEAKENING. WE WILL FOLLOW THIS MAJORITY OF GUIDANCE FOR INTENSITY TREND...KEEPING DANIEL AT 50 KT AT 120 HOURS.
THIS FORECAST WILL BRING DANIEL ACROSS THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS AS A RELATIVELY STRONG TROPICAL STORM LATER THIS WEEK.
Daniel's satellite signature looks very sheared and the hurricane appears to be slowly weakening. There is no eye evident in the circulation and the central dense overcast (CDO) region that Daniel has at the center of its circulation complicates remote intensity estimates. Accordingly it is difficult to estimate Daniel's intensity since hurricane hunters do not operate this far into the Pacific. In cases like this, it often takes up to a day for the storm to respond to the increasingly sheared environment which causes storms to be stronger than they appear. However, some models are forecasting for this shear to decrease and ocean temperatures will certainly increase in the next few days. While this is unlikely to restrengthen the storm, it is likely to slow its decay.
Just to keep everyone up to date, the entire chain of the Hawaiian Islands remains squarely in the center of the guidance envelope. The official forecast track and model consensus goes right up the center of the island chain.
For those of you living in Hawaii, now is the time to review your preparation plans. Localized flooding in valleys in likely to be one of the greatest threats. A quick look at the regional satellite picture will show you that Hurricane Daniel is now in the neighborhood.