Hurricane Norman weakens; tracking toward west-northwest

At 500 AM HST (1500 UTC), the center of Hurricane Norman was located near latitude 20.7 North, longitude 150.5 West. Norman is moving toward the west-northwest near 8 mph (13 km/h), and a turn toward the northwest is expected today. Norman is forecast to continue to move toward the northwest on Friday and Saturday, and along the forecast track, the center of Norman is expected to pass 200 to 300 miles to the northeast of the main Hawaiian Islands.

Maximum sustained winds are near 115 mph (185 km/h) with higher gusts. Norman is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Steady weakening is expected during the next few days.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles (45 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 105 miles (165 km).

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND

SURF:  Large swells generated by Norman will continue to build across the Hawaiian Islands today. Large and potentially dangerous surf is expected along east facing shores through at least tonight.

Due to the forecasted weather conditions, the following closures and recommendations are now in effect:

–       At this time Richardson Beach Park and Kealoha Beach parks have been closed due to high surf conditions.  All other beach parks on the north and east side of the island, from South Point to Upolu Point, will be closed tomorrow. All permits and reservations for these parks have been cancelled.

–       Boat owners should take measures to secure their vessels until the danger passes. (Hilo Area)

–       Oceanfront residents are urged to be on alert for high and dangerous surf conditions through tonight and tomorrow. Do complete your preparations before nightfall.

More information on hurricane preparedness can be found here: http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/emergency-preparedness