Two storms are headed for Hawaii later this week in an unusual one-two punch.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami issued advisories Tuesday for Hurricane Iselle and Tropical Storm Julio.
Hurricane Iselle could be hitting Hawaii by Friday and Julio two or three days after that, said James Franklin, the chief of hurricane specialists.
“There’s enough uncertainty in the track that it’s too soon to talk specific impacts,” Franklin said.
Hurricane Iselle is expected to weaken as it moves over cooler water over the next couple of days, it is forecast to slowly lose strength. The National Hurricane Center forecasts the peak winds to drop to 50-70 mph – or to moderate tropical storm levels.
Right now, Hurricane Iselle is sitting at a category 4 status.
“Right now it’s a major hurricane but it will not be able to maintain that strength,” he said. “But it still could be at or near hurricane strength.”
Officials at the state and local level are not taking the risks that Iselle and Julio pose lightly.
“We are actually monitoring very closely. We’ve had several tropical systems since June 1,” said Darryl Oliver of the Hawaii County Civil Defense. “The ground is very saturated. We are very hopeful it will weaken. However, it still is likely to present tropical storm force winds at 74 mph, high surf at 10 to 15 feet, and heavy rain.”
Even if the storms don’t make landfall, they can still cause damage, including flooding and debris, experts warn.
“We are very concerned with the flooding that will be possible from having two major storms so close together,” Coast Guard spokesman Chief Petty Officer Kurt Fredrickson said.
Hawaii keeps a watchful eye on Hurricane Iselle, reaches category 4 status
It’s still too early to tell exactly what kind of impact Hurricane Iselle will have on our island weather.
Hawaii prepapres for Hurricane Iselle
Rain and high surf is in the forecast as the hurricane approaches, but officials want the public to stay calm and keep informed.