Highs winds, waves expected

Guillermo downgraded to a tropical depression Thursday afternoon and is expected to pass over or near Kauai today, meteorologists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday.

A tropical depression has winds under 39 mph.

“The system is expected to bring some stronger winds – probably 25 mph. They’ll be some stronger gusts and they’ll be some areas we’ll likely see this from a localized effect,” said NOAA Meteorologist Maureen Ballard.

Ballard said forecasts expect some heavier shower activity closer to mauka regions of the isalnd.

“Probably looking at most four to five inches up in the mountains.” she said. “As the system moves in, it will bring additional moisture.”

As of 5 p.m Thursday, Guillermo was 225 miles east of Lihue and was moving west at 5-10 mph.

The system is also generating elevated surf, Ballard said.

“We are expecting the winds, waves to generate from the storm to increase heights along the eastern-facing shores,” she said. “It will be rough surf because of the winds driven by the storm.”

As the system moves northwest away from the island surf associated with the system is expected to subside quickly, Ballard said.

“However, as we know it’s not just the center that’s the problem, it’s everything around that,” she said. “Within the next 12 to 24 hours, we’re pretty confident in the effects it will have.”

In the eastern Pacific, NOAA is tracking Hilda, the 10th tropical cyclone to form in that region this season.

As of 5 p.m. Thursday, it was 1,750 miles east-southeast of Lihue.

Ballard said Hilda is forecast to strengthen to a hurricane today and cross into the central Pacific basin today.

“It currently has winds of 60 mph and it is moving to the west at 14 mph.” Ballard said.

A hurricane has winds 74 mph or higher.

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