Hurricane Flossie Update at 3:00 PM Tuesday

(KHNL) - This is a weather update on Hurricane Flossie now about 160 miles south of Hilo.  The storm system has weakened over the last 24 hours, it's still a hurricane now down to a Category 2 but it is still expected to pack a punch.

We can still see anywhere between 5 to 10 inches of rain as well as tropical storm force winds as the system starts to work its way westward.

Take a look at a live shot here Hilo Bay as we work our way through the afternoon.  We start to see conditions deteriorate, a few more showers out there, more clouds moving in and for more on this storm system, we have Howard Dashefsky standing by at the Central Pacific Hurricane Center with the director Jim Weyman. Howard?

HOWARD:  Hi Sharie, good evening to you and right now we want to bring in Jim because we want to talk about what you've talked about.  Sharie mentioned, Jim , that 180 miles south of the big island, one thing she talked about was the deteriorating conditions in Hilo but talk about some of the surf but particularly about the dangerous surf that's battering this portion of the island already.

JIM:  This hurricane has been pointing at the Big Island so long that it has really build up a huge amount of surf that's sitting in the south east plank of the Big Island right now.  We're getting reports of 20 to 30 feet of high surf and also people towing in to that surf.

HOWARD:  One question that we want to talk about is that what we saw what happened about 15 years ago in the case of Hurricane Iniki.  It's a relatively similar path what we saw with Iniki is that it made that right turn and bee lined right for Kauai.  One question is can it happened, you said no.  Tell us about the science and why exactly you think it won't happen in this case.

JIM:  Iniki went a great deal further south of the Big Island, almost 500 miles south and then came over here and did a right turn just like you said.  This storm, because it's coming from the east, the upper level is coming from the south that they're counteracting each other so it's tearing the storm apart.  So it's not pushing it to the north but tearing the storm apart making it weaker.

HOWARD: So you're looking ahead short term to the next 4 to 6 hours and then maybe 6 to 18 hours what are we expecting to see as the storm continues to kind of turn up a little bit and then parallel the chain?

JIM:  Two major things in addition to the surf that I just talked about is really the heavy rain when the rain band comes on, you can see up to 10 to 15 inches of rain in that area and also we can see winds gusting over 60 miles per hour at many locations throughout the Big Island.

HOWARD: Alright, Jim Weyman, the director of the Central Pacific Hurricane Center.  We'll bring you another update at 4 o'clock.  For now, Sharie, we send it back to you in the studio.

SHARIE:  Thanks Howard and Jim.  We'll have live updates on Flossie at the top of the hour all day here on your live local late breaking news station.