Hawaii – Tropical Storm Fernanda

As of 5:00 a.m. HST on Tuesday, August 16, 2011 (Advisory #4): Fernanda has strengthened to become the sixth tropical storm of the season, currently moving West (270°) at 8 mph, with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph. Fernanda is currently located approximately 1,100 nautical miles Southeast of Buoy 51004.

The National Hurricane Center notes that the intensity forecast for Fernanda is problematic, with some models predicting an increase to near hurricane strength in a few days. Their public advisory is currently lower in intensity (maximum winds of 60 mph) than the bulk of the guidance, so it will be interesting to see how things shape up over the next 24-48 hours.

If the latest forecast track holds up and Fernanda maintains a West-Northwest movement towards the Big Island, things could get interesting if the storm intensifies into a hurricane. Definitely keep an eye on the Wavewatch forecast for Buoy 51004, as well as the latest forecast advisories from the National Hurricane Center.