With the appearance of Iselle and Julio we are watching the Pacific rather than the Atlantic for a change. Hurricane Iselle is currently at category 3 status, and should reach the Hawaiian Islands by Thursday. Even though some weakening is predicted between now and then, this system still poses a very real threat in the form of high winds and heavy rainfall. The forecast models are predicting maximum sustained winds between 45-90 mph as Iselle hits the Islands as well as 4-8 inches of rain or more in some areas.
Hot on the heels of Iselle, we have Tropical Storm Julio, which is following the same path and should intensify to hurricane status by tomorrow. Some of the forecast models are calling for a scenario similar to Iselle- gusty winds and heavy rainfall in some areas. However, some models are speculating Julio may move north, avoiding the Hawaiian Islands altogether. Keeping in mind that the 5+ day hurricane forecasts carry a high degree of uncertainty, we will have to wait and watch for a few days to get a more accurate read on Julio’s ultimate track.
The situation presented by back-to-back hurricanes hitting the Hawaiian Islands is definitely concerning. The rainfall from Iselle could be exacerbated by moisture from Julio raising the flood risk considerably.