Hawaii bracing for back-to-back hurricanes

By Meteorologist Mike Skurko

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Hurricane Iselle is expected to make landfall late Thursday night on the Big Island of Hawaii.  The category 1 storm is packing winds of 75 mph, and will bring excessive rain and high surf to the islands.  Below is a forecast graphic from the National Weather Service in Honolulu depicting the landfall of the hurricane around 10 p.m. Hawaii Standard Time (4 a.m. Friday for us).  You can see how the eye of the storm will pass right over the big island, with waves above 20 feet expected in advance of the storm.  A wind speed of 54 knots shown below equals 62 mph.

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Believe it or not, Hawaii does not frequently see a direct hit form a hurricane.  It does get brushed by storms in the Central Pacific, similar to how New England gets brushed by hurricanes but infrequently sees a direct landfall.  Iselle will be the first hurricane to make a landfall on the Hawaiian Islands since 1992, with only two others directly hitting Hawaii since 1950.

That makes the next point even more unbelievable … another hurricane, Julio, is on the heels of Iselle and has Hawaii in its path.  While it did strengthen to a Category 2 hurricane earlier today, it is expected to weaken this weekend.


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