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Hurricane Iselle continues on track toward Hawaii

By Craig Gima

LAST UPDATED: 11:24 p.m. HST, Aug 3, 2014

Hurricane Iselle is on a track toward Hawaii and could bring heavy rain and strong winds to the state on the eve of Saturday's Primary Election.

Iselle was a major category 3 hurricane in the Eastern Pacific Sunday morning with sustained winds of 125 mph. The storm, about 1,305 miles east of Hilo, was moving west at 9 mph at 11 p.m. Hawaii time.

The current forecast track puts the center of the storm about 70 miles east southeast of Hilo Thursday evening as a weakening tropical storm.

The storm should begin to weaken as it crosses into the Central Pacific Tuesday.

"The 5-day forecast cone brings Iselle at tropical storm strength over or near the Big Island late Thursday night / early Friday morning, though likely any affects would be felt on the Big Island beginning Thursday evening," forecasters said.  "Long-range models continue to track Iselle towards the west-northwest which could potentially impact the smaller islands too on Friday. Due to uncertainty in the track at day 5 and beyond, it is too early to forecast impacts such as rainfall amounts or winds at this time as even small changes in its path will alter the impacts.."

Even more bad weather could be behind Iselle.

Tropical Storm Julio formed in the eastern Pacific about 860 miles southwest of Baja, California in Mexico. The National Hurricane Center said Juilo could become a hurricane on Wednesday. The storm is still too far away to accurately predict its effects on Hawaii, but forecasters say it could bring heavy rain to the islands starting Saturday night.

At 11 p.m., Julio had sustained winds of 45 mph and was moving west at 13 mph.

Iselle could also bring some surf to Hawaii, ahead of its arrival.

The timing of the storms 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.

In 1996, then-Gov. Ben Cayetano ordered some polling places remain open late because of bad weather.

Sunday's weather in Hawaii is expected to be drier and less muggy than Saturday as Tropical Depression Genevieve continues to move away from the state.

It still be hot, however, with high temperatures of 90 degrees in some places.

"A plume of tropical moisture that affected the state over the past 36 hours remains over Kauai but drier, more comfortable air has pushed westward from the Big Island to Oahu," forecasters said Sunday morning.

At  11 p.m., Tropical Depression Genevieve was 930 miles south southwest of Honolulu with sustained winds of 35 mph. The storm was moving to the west at 16 mph.

Drier and more stable tradewind weather should remain over the state through at least midweek, depending on Iselle's approach and timing.

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