Iselle Keeps Barreling Toward The Big Island
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by Hunter Bishop
Hurricane Iselle continues to close in on the Big Island as the Central Pacific Hurricane Center issued a tropical storm warning for the Big Island at 7 a.m.
The center of the storm was moving west-northwest at 15 mph, continuing through Wednesday with a gradual increase in speed. The outer winds of Iselle should reach the the Big Island by Thursday afternoon, the the Center said.
Maximum sustained winds are near 85 mph with higher gusts, though Hurricane Iselle is expected to weaken overnight.
Still, Iselle is expected to bring heavy rains, high surf and strong winds to the Big Island on Thursday.
If Iselle stays on track, 40 mph winds will begin spreading over the Big Island as early as Thursday afternoon. Some areas could get winds higher than 60 mph by Thursday night.
Coastal flooding could occur, especially in low-lying areas at high tide, which is 12:30 p.m. today in Hilo Bay at 2.5 feet, and at 1:20 p.m. Thursday at 2.8 feet.
Swells are expected to reach Hawaii Island today and possibly become damaging along some coastlines starting later tonight. High surf is expected to reach the islands ahead of the heavy rains and strong winds, potentially causing coastal flooding.
Surf should reach heights of 10 to 20 feet along the Big Island’s windward coasts today with larger surf on the way, The National Weather Service said.
Meanwhile, Hurricane Julio, coming on the heels of Iselle, is expected to slowly strengthen over the next 24 to 36 hours, said the National Hurricane Center. Julio is now 1,650 miles east of Hilo, traveling west-northwest at 17 mph with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph.