Hawaii Braces for Hurricanes Iselle and Julio

NOAA-NASA GOES Project(NEW YORK) — Hurricanes Iselle and Julio are headed toward Hawaii this week — with the latest forecasts showing that Iselle will directly hit the islands Thursday night as a tropical storm.

Some 36 hours later, Julio is expected to follow and come close to the Hawaiian islands.

A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued from Hawaii’s Big Island to Oahu. Flash flooding and possible mudslides are the biggest threat because of the high terrain.

The runoff from the rain could produce life threatening conditions, while a storm surge up to several feet and winds of up to 60 mph could affect the islands late Thursday night.

It is rare to see tropical storms come so close to Hawaii, with direct hits even rarer. That’s because Hawaii is surrounded by ocean water that has temperatures in the 70s and in order for a tropical system to grow and stay alive, water temperature needs to be above 80 degrees. To put it into historical perspective, only two named storms have hit Hawaii since 1949.

There is some good news for the islands. Iselle is currently running into very dry air, therefore weakening it. Also, Julio will be running into cool water that is being stirred up by Iselle, which will help it to weaken as well as it gets closer to Hawaii.

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