POSTED: 11:04 a.m. HST, Jul 25, 2013
LAST UPDATED: 5:56 p.m. HST, Jul 29, 2013
Tropical Storm Flossie will be a shadow of its current self when it passes near Hawaii Tuesday, but it could still pack a punch.... or not.
The storm is expected to weaken starting Saturday, just before it moves into the Central Pacific.
Flossie is not expected to become a hurricane, although forecasters say it could get a little stronger while over warm water.
"All of the global models, and the official forecast, now show Flossie dissipating west of the Hawaiian islands by (Wednesday) due to strong southwesterly shear," according to National Hurricane Center forecasters.
At about 5 a.m. today, the storm was about 1,710 miles east of Honolulu with maximum sustained winds near 50 mph extending about 70 miles from the center.
It was moving west at about 18 mph and is expected to track to the west northwest and pass south of Hawaii Monday night through Wednesday.
The current forecast for Honolulu calls for a 60 to 70 percent chance of locally heavy rain starting Monday night through Tuesday night when the storm is expected to pass south of Oahu.
However, forecasters caution that it is still too early to accurately predict the impact of the storm on specific islands.
“There could be rain, there could be wind. But how much is the question,” said Melvin Hui, a forecaster with the Honolulu office of the National Weather Service.
Hui said there’s still a chance that the storm will pass further south of the islands and not bring very much rain. There’s also a chance it could bring thunderstorms, depending on its intensity and how close it comes to the islands.
The storm could also bring surf to east shores.
Honolulu meteorologist Ian Morrison storm highlights the need for people to be prepared and have emergency kits stocked.
“It’s a very good reminder that we are in the middle of hurricane season,” Morrison said. “The more prepared Hawaii is, then the better off everyone is going to be when it (a storm) does happen.”