Hurricane Olivia approaches isles

Just as Tropical Storm Norman moved away from the islands, Hurricane Olivia entered the Central Pacific on Saturday, and it was expected to be near the Hawaiian Islands late Tuesday, the National Weather Service’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center reported.

As of 5 p.m. Saturday, Olivia was packing maximum sustained winds of 80 mph, and it was moving west at 16 mph, center forecasters said. It was located about 935 miles east of Hilo and 1,100 miles east of Honolulu.

The storm was expected to slow through Monday while continuing to move west. Forecasters predicted Olivia would turn west-southwest by Tuesday. Little change in strength was forecast.

Hurricane-force winds extend out 35 miles from Olivia’s eye, and tropical-storm-force winds can be felt 115 miles out, forecasters said.

A high-surf advisory remained in effect through 5 a.m. today. Surf along east-facing shores was forecast to rise to 6 to 8 feet. Beachgoers were cautioned to expect strong breaking waves and currents that make swimming difficult and dangerous.

There were no other advisories in effect early Saturday evening.

Forecasters predicted sunny skies with isolated showers this morning and partly sunny skies and scattered showers later today in windward and mauka areas. Leeward areas can expect scattered showers in the afternoon. High temperatures should range from 85 to 90 degrees, with overnight lows of 72 to 77. Winds should be variable, blowing up to 15 mph.

Tonight, skies should be mostly cloudy before clearing later. Isolated showers can be expected.

Similar conditions should persist Monday, with more rainfall and tropical storm conditions with heavy rainfall are possible Tuesday through Wednesday.

On Saturday morning, the U.S. Coast Guard set port condition whiskey for harbors in Maui, Hawaii and Honolulu counties. Whiskey is an alert condition that means gale-force winds of 39 mph are predicted to arrive in 72 hours. Ports remain open to all commercial and recreational traffic.

Coast Guard officials warned residents and visitors to stay off the water and clear of beaches when there are hurricane- and tropical-storm-force winds.

“The Coast Guard’s search-and-rescue capabilities degrade as storm conditions strengthen. This may delay help,” the federal agency said. “Heed weather watches, warnings and small-craft advisories.”

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