POSTED: 06:42 a.m. HST, Aug 02, 2014
LAST UPDATED: 11:48 p.m. HST, Aug 02, 2014
Hurricane Iselle is on a track towards Hawaii and could bring heavy rain and strong winds to the state on the eve of Saturday's Primary Election.
Iselle strengthened into a category 2 hurricane in the Eastern Pacific on Saturday, and is near major hurricane status, as Tropical Depression Genevieve moved past the islands.
Forecasters say the storm, about 1,615 miles east of Hilo, is still too far away to accurately predict its effects.
The current forecast track puts the center of the storm about 200 miles southeast of HIlo Thursday afternoon as a weakening tropical storm.
At 11 p.m., Iselle had sustained winds of 110 mph, just under the 111 mph threshold for a category 3 hurricane. The storm was moving west at 10 mph.
The storm should begin to weaken as it crosses into the Central Pacific Tuesday and moves over cooler waters.
"The track and intensity of Iselle will play an important part in determining Hawaii's weather late next week. Even if the storm dissipates, the tropical moisture associated with it will still reach the islands bringing very humid conditions and the potential for heavy rains," forecasters said. "If Iselle maintains some form and structure we will have to contend with strong winds as well. Still five days in the future, the forecast will become much clearer over the next few days as the system approaches."
The storm could also bring some surf to Hawaii, ahead of its arrival.
Iselle's timing could impact the Primary Election on Saturday. Strong winds could knock out electricity and heavy rains and flooding could affect turnout and whether some polling places are able to open.
At 11 p.m., Tropical Depression Genevieve was 795 miles south of Honolulu with sustained winds of 35 mph. The storm had intensified into a tropical storm with 40 mph winds earlier Saturday. But its intensity has been fluctuating.
The storm is moving to the west at 16 mph.
Moist air on the northern edges of Genevieve brought some heavy rain to Hawaii island Friday and morning showers to Oahu and other western islands Saturday morning.
But forecasters say the storm has mostly moved past the islands and the humidity and chance of rain should decrease Saturday night.
Drier and more stable tradewind weather is expected Sunday and should remain over the state through midweek, depending on Iselle's approach and timing.