UPDATE(6-4-2019 5:00 am): Hurricane Babara is now downgraded to a category 3. More weakening is expected as wind shear picks up.
UPDATE(6-1-2019 10:30 am): Hurricane Barbara, the same storm many thought wouldn’t even make hurricane status, is now a violent category 4 hurricane. Barbara’s rapid and unexpected intensification has many bewildered, but residents of Hawaii now concerned. Barbara is located just over 1,000 miles SW of Baja, California. It’s pushing 130 mph winds at its core. And its moving WNW at 15 mph.
It’s a now massive, threatening, storm.
First Cat 4 2019
First MAJOR EPAC 2019 pic.twitter.com/3hKNm0ysNk
— Jim Cantore (@JimCantore) July 2, 2019
UPDATE(6-1-2019): Well, it happened. The Trpoical Storm that was barely to be is now a moderately powerful category 2 hurricane. Hurricane Barbara now displays winds of 110 mph at it’s core. And worse more, Barbara is likely to continue strengthening over the next day. The warm Pacific waters and little wind shear will help Barbara get bigger. But predictions remain that Hurricane Barbara will weaken on Wednesday and Thursday when the storm should encounter more potent wind shear.
Hawaii should remain on alert for coastal flooding and heavy rains. Surfers and boaters in the island community are urged to be extremely cautious over the next few days. Depending on Barbara’s track, it could begin to effect Hawaii early next week. But there’s a lot of time for things to change between now and then.
Here’s Hurricane Barbara’s latest satellite imagery:
UPDATE(6-1-2019): Tropical Storm Barbara is now officially upgraded to Hurricane Barbara.
5-30-2019 – Hurricane Barbara will replace Hurricane Alvin as the second named-hurricane of the 2019 season. Hurricane Barbara resides in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, just southwest of Mexico.
Hurricane Barbara is expected to remain over warm Pacific waters and encounter less and less wind shear. For Tropical Storms and Hurricanes to thrive, warm water and lesser wind shear is a strong formula for strengthening.
“Barbara may become a hurricane by the middle of the week as it tracks generally to the west to west-northwest away from Mexico,” according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Adam Douty.
In terms of who’s at risk, that would be mostly shipping ports. Soon to be Hurricane Barbara isn’t expected to encounter any urban or populated regions. The only possible impact could be Hawaii, but those odds remain low. Hurricane Barbara would float over much cooler waters before making an approach on Hawaii, thereby dramatically lessening the strength of the storm. However, it is important for the people of Hawaii to continue to follow Hurricane Barbara updates until this situation is more ironed out. The forecast for Hawaii impact remains far out, many elements, including wind shear presence, can change.
“Water temperatures are above normal around Hawaii,” according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson.
“While that has been contributing to record highs being set in Honolulu and other communities recently, it can also make the island more vulnerable to tropical threats, not just from this storm but through the rest of hurricane season,” Anderson said.
Potential Hurricane Barbara Path
Even a less potent Barbara could severely impact Hawaii’s coastlines for surfers, swimmers, and property owners. Boaters are advised to pay special attention to the forecast. Hawaii also faces the potential for life-threatening flooding. Learn more about flash floods here. Don’t forget to read our hurricane preparedness guide if you live in any region affected by hurricanes.
The Pacific Ocean is currently ripe with the presence of two more potential storms. So far, the Atlantic is quiet.
Author: Jim Satney
PrepForThat’s Editor and lead writer for political, survival, and weather categories.
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