Hurricane Barbara strengthened from Tropical Storm to a Category 1 Hurricane overnight and continues to churn in the Eastern Pacific Basin and moving to the West at 16mph.
Currently, No Impacts to the Island and State of Hawai'i is expected from Hurricane Barbara over the next couple of days and the HIRSC Team will continue to monitor Barbara's track and forecast over the next few days.
Discussion on Hurricane Barbara from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) as of 2:00 pm PDT: The inner-core structure of Barbara has improved markedly throughout the day, with microwave imagery hinting that an eye is beginning to develop. In addition, banding features have increased and the cyclone's outflow is well-established in all quadrants. A recent scatterometer pass showed that the wind field has expanded with tropical-storm-force winds extending up to 140 n mi from the center. The initial intensity is increased to 75 kt based on an average of the latest satellite intensity estimates, making Barbara the second hurricane of the 2019 season. There are favorable environmental conditions in place for rapid intensification (RI) to occur over the next 24 to 36 hours. The SHIPS-model RI indices indicate about 60 percent chance for a 30-kt increase in wind speed over the next 24 hours, and nearly a 50 percent chance for a 35-kt increase over the next 24 hours. The latest NHC intensity forecast has been adjusted slightly higher through 60 hours, and lies along or near the upper end of the latest guidance given the expected conducive environment. After 60 hours, Barbara is expected to begin to move into a drier environment and over cooler SSTs, while approaching a region of increasing southwesterly shear. This will induce a weakening trend that will continue through the end of the forecast period. Barbara continues to move just north of due west at 14 kt. The ridge to the north of the cyclone that is steering it westward will weaken somewhat over the next couple of days, which will cause the forward motion of the cyclone to decrease along with a turn to the west-northwest and possibly even briefly northwest. The ridge will re-strengthen later on in the forecast period, which will result in a turn back to the west-northwest to west with an increase in forward speed. The track guidance has shifted northward, especially beyond 72 hours, and the NHC forecast track has been adjusted in that direction. However, this forecast lies on the southern side of the track guidance envelope, closest to the latest ECMWF guidance. FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS INIT 01/2100Z 11.5N 118.5W 75 KT 85 MPH 12H 02/0600Z 12.0N 120.4W 90 KT 105 MPH 24H 02/1800Z 12.6N 122.7W 110 KT 125 MPH 36H 03/0600Z 13.3N 125.0W 120 KT 140 MPH 48H 03/1800Z 14.0N 126.7W 120 KT 140 MPH 72H 04/1800Z 16.0N 129.9W 100 KT 115 MPH 96H 05/1800Z 17.5N 133.5W 75 KT 85 MPH 120H 06/1800Z 18.5N 138.0W 50 KT 60 MPH