As of today, Hawaii residents are beginning preparations for two tropical cyclones, Julio and Iselle. It isn’t sure just how damaging these cyclones may be, but locals are emptying stores of bottled water, baby supplies, and even canned meat. It is rare that two large systems are so close together in the eastern Pacific. Iselle is projected to hit by Friday, while Julio is predicted to hit up to two or three days later.
Hawaii doesn’t have a terrible history with hurricanes, as it has only been hit three times since 1950, but the island has had over 147 tropical cyclones over that time. The last time that Hawaii was hit by a tropical storm was 1992 when Hurricane Iniki killed six people and destroyed more than 1,4000 homes.
Residents of the area are stocking up on non-perishable foods and other items in case of emergency. Local stores have been running out of supplies rapidly, and even Costco sold out of water on Monday as shoppers rushed to buy it in bulk before it disappeared. Some stores have even opened their doors early because shoppers were lined outside of the building, waiting to buy supplies. Bottled water, cans of Spam, and Vienna sausage were among the most popular items that shoppers were stocking up on. A tropical storm warning is now in effect for the Big Island of Hawaii as Iselle moves in slowly.
Hurricane Iselle has become the third major tropical storm of the 2014 season in the Eastern Pacific. It is now moving west through the Central Pacific, with the state of Hawaii its main target.
This tropical storm has begun to weaken and is now a Category 1 hurricane as of 10 a.m on Wednesday. As of Wednesday, the storm is about roughly 695 miles east-southward of Hilo, Hawaii.
Even though the storm is forecast to weaken substantially due to wind shear, more stable air, and cooler sea temperatures, it could still hit the Hawaiian Islands as a strong tropical storm on Thursday. Swells will be making their presence, especially on east-facing coastlines, on Wednesday as the system approaches.
This storm is likely to bring high surf, torrential rains, flash flooding, and very strong wind gusts beginning on Thursday. The winds are expected to be greater than 40 mph and gusts of over 65 are possible on late Thursday.
There will be a combination of high surf and high tide, and this may cause coastal flooding along the low lying areas. A flash flood watch is also in place for all of the Hawaiian Islands because heavy rainfall is more than likely, and the rainfall totals are expected to be greater than 10 inches in some locations.
A tropical storm or hurricane watch is put into place when these conditions are plausible within the given area. These are usually posted within 48 hours in advance of when the storm force conditions are set to arrive. A warning means that those conditions are expected within that area. Warnings are typically issued within 36 hours in advance. When a warning is issued, you should make sure to complete all preparations and evacuate the area if directed to do so.
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