Hurricane Iselle To Hit Hawaii This Week

Both a hurricane and a tropical storm are headed across the Pacific and straight to Hawaii, according to CBC News.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center has issued a statement informing certain parts of Hawaii to post weather watches for Hurricane Iselle. According to their reports, Hurricane Iselle was 1,700 kilometers east-southeast of Hawaii and moving west at 15 km/h with a maximum wind speed of 200 km/h.

“Watches may be required for portions of the islands by later today or early Wednesday,” said the U.S. National Hurricane Center.

The CS Monitor also reported that Tropical Storm Julio is on its way to Hawaii, developing in an El Nino pattern, according to the National Weather Service. Advisories for both the tropical storm and Hurricane Iselle have been issued. Residents of Honolulu have been urged to gather food and water and other emergency supplies for up to seven days in preparation for Iselle. Since Hawaii is so isolated in the center of the Pacific Ocean, it can take days for relief services to respond after a hurricane like Iselle.

“With Hawaii’s remoteness, it could be as long as a week before a full disaster relief operation can be initiated,” said the Honolulu Department of Emergency Management in a statement.

Until Iselle hits, the Central Pacific Hurricane Center in Honolulu will take over forecasting responsibilities.

James Franklin, the chief of hurricane specialists, claims Hurricane Iselle could hit the popular tourist location by Friday. Tropical Storm Julio would hit two or three days after Hurricane Iselle. Franklin says a hurricane and a tropical storm so close together is not common but not all that surprising with an El Nino in development–which is a change in ocean temperature that can cause major weather events around the world.

Not only is it rare for a tropical storm to follow a hurricane the size of Iselle, it’s rare that a hurricane hits Hawaii at all. The last big storm to blow through the islands was Hurricane Neki in 2009, which only did minor damage to a marine national monument. Before that, Hurricane Flossie brought six meter waves to Hawaii in 2007 but did very little damage overall. The worst storm in recent history was Hurricane Iniki in 1992 which killed six people in Hawaii and did an estimated $2.4 billion in damage.

The National Weather Service provided the following radar images of Hurricane Iselle and its trajectory:

NHC radar

For more on major storms, check out The Inquisitr’s report on the supertyphoon stronger than Hurricane Katrina that hit a military base in Japan last month.