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Loc: Beautiful Honolulu Hawaii
Tropical Storm LANA Heads Towards Hawaii
      Thu Jul 30 2009 04:05 PM

Aloha friends. Interesting developments are occuring here in the Hawaiian Islands. Tropical Storm Lana has formed rapidly over the last 12-18 hours from an area of disturbed weather and existing low pressure.

The preexisting area of thunderstorms had been closely watched for several days, and overnight, massive bursting convection with cold cloud tops down to -80 C rapidly organized as the overall satellite presentation steadily became more impressive.

And right before our eyes, so to speak, tropical cyclogenesis has indeed occurred.

And just as the system was organizing into Tropical Depression 6E, it crossed over the 140W longitude and officially entered into the Central Pacific Hurricane Basin. Among other things, this means that all future tracking and forecasts of Tropical Storm Lana will be transferred from the National Hurricane Center in Miami to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center (CPHC) in Honolulu.

A handful of the senior meteorologists, some with special training and experience with hurricane tracking and forecasting will 'switch hats', so to speak, and become hurricane forecasters that will head up the whole proccess of tracking Lana and meeting with public emergency officials and the official 'talking heads' for the media, should Lana become a threat to the islands and watches/warnings become required. Additionally, if need be, the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron (Hurricane Hunters) based at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi will fly out to Hawaii and station themselves at Hickam Air Force Base in south-central Oahu to begin making regular flights into the storm/hurricane and report their data back to the CPHC to use in fine-tuneing the forecast package. This becomes very important, especially as a storm nears the islands.

But that's getting a little ahead of ourselves. Lana is still a long ways from us here in Honolulu or even the Big Island for that matter, having just now entered into the Central Pacific.

But it's looking more impressive by the hour as the animated visible satellite signature continues to improve with a splendid upper-level anticyclone positioning itself nicely above the mid and low level cyclonic circulations and a revealing passive microwave image a few hours ago depicts the overall vertical alignment of the cyclone to be excellent at this time, with beautiful symmetric outflow, though slightly restricted in the western quad.

So strengthening is indicated in the near term, as Tropical Storm Lana is passing over a pocket of very warm waters, as warm as 31C, before likely encountering increasing shear in a couple days.

It'll be interesting to see how quickly Lana can ramp up and how the shear situation pans out down the road. I'll obviously be posting much more about Tropical Storm Lana in the coming days, but always please feel free to chime in if anything you'd like to add.

Edited by CoconutCandy (Thu Jul 30 2009 05:48 PM)

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