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NASA eyes Hilda's Hawaiian hangout -- south of the islands

TRMM satellite peers into Hilda's rainfall

Tropical Storm Hilda is hanging on to tropical storm force winds, and continues to track south of the Hawaiian Islands. NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite noticed some moderate rainfall in Hilda's center earlier today, but the storm is staying far enough south of Hawaii to not cause trouble for travelers and vacationers.

Satellite imagery indicates she's a small storm, so forecasters have noted that any impacts to the Hawaiian Islands, which lay far to the north of her forecast track, are expected to be minimal. Hilda's tropical storm force winds extend out to 70 mph, quite a difference from this week's Atlantic Hurricane Bill's tropical storm-force winds, which extended almost 230 miles from his center!

Hilda's maximum sustained winds were near 45 mph, and slow strengthening is possible as she continues west-southwest near 9 mph. She is expected to turn to the west tomorrow, August 27. Estimated minimum central pressure is 1007 millibars. She was creating 12-foot high seas. As for the Hawaiian Islands, the National Weather Service in Honolulu, HI notes "Surf along south facing shores will be 1 to 3 feet with occasional larger sets to 4 feet possible Wednesday."

Early this morning, at 5 a.m. EDT, Hilda's center was about 515 miles southeast of Hilo, Hawaii, and 715 miles southeast of Honolulu. That's near 13.6 north and 150.6 west.

As the TRMM satellite flew over Hilda, it captured data that was used in making a rainfall analysis at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt Md. The rainfall analysis showed that Hilda had some moderate rainfall near her center, falling at about one inch (25 millimeters) per hour. TRMM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japanese space agency JAXA.

Over the next five days, Hilda's maximum sustained winds are not expected to exceed 50 knots as she passes to the south of the Hawaiian Islands.

For updates on tropical cyclones, visit NASA's Hurricane Web Page at

Rob Gutro | EurekAlert!
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