Hurricane Barbara has intensified to the second hurricane of the 2019 Eastern Pacific Season; the National Hurricane Center (NHC) expects Barbara to go through a period of rapid intensification over the next day or so and become a Major Hurricane with maximum sustained winds of over 120 mph by tomorrow.
As of 5pm ET / 11am HT, the center of Hurricane Barbara was located near latitude 11.5 North, longitude 118.5 West. Barbara is moving toward the west near 16 mph (26 km/h), and a gradual turn to the west-northwest along with a decrease in forward speed is expected over the next couple of days. Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 85 mph with higher gusts. Barbara is expected to rapidly intensify into a major hurricane on Tuesday with maximum sustained winds of over 120 mph forecast. A weakening trend is expected to begin by Thursday as the storm moves into an area less favorable for tropical cyclone development. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 160 miles. The estimated minimum central pressure is 983 mb or 29.03 inches.
Over time, Barbara or its remnants could impact Hawaii, but such impacts will likely hold off until after the Fourth of July holiday. At the least, Barbara could bring rough surf to a portion of the Aloha State; at worst, it could bring heavy rains and strong winds, even if it isn’t a hurricane by the time it reached the state. People in Hawaii are reminded to have 2-weeks worth of supplies on them at all times should a hurricane threat or any natural disaster threat materialize. Just last week, Hawaii County Civil Defense hosted a Disaster Preparedness Fair to help people prepare for such a scenario.
While Barbara is in the Eastern Pacific basin with forecasts being issued by the National Hurricane Center in Florida, once it moves west of 140°W, the Central Pacific Hurricane Center co-located with the National Weather Service office in Honolulu, Hawaii will assume responsibility for forecasts and advisories. The Central Pacific Hurricane Center is expecting a busy hurricane season, with an above normal amount of tropical cyclones in the basin this season. The season, which started on June 1, continues through to the end of November.
NOAA's Central Pacific Hurricane Center (CPHC) Director, Chris Brenchley, described to us today how his Honolulu team coordinates, collaborates, & even swaps staff with Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC) to keep America #HurricaneStrong?@NWSHonolulu pic.twitter.com/W1WM2EeXeC
— the Weatherboy (@theWeatherboy) May 23, 2019