Storm Aims to be First Since 2007 to Affect Island Chain

With the dissipation of Dorian in the Atlantic, the focus has shifted to the Pacific where a storm is still churning.  No longer under the watchful eye of the NHC, Tropical Storm Flossie is being monitored by the Central Pacific Hurricane Center in Honolulu.  The storm is still a strong tropical storm with winds remaining at 65 miles per hour.  Minimum Central Pressure is 996 millibars, or 29.41 inches of Hg.  Flossie is moving at a fairly good pace at 20 miles per hour to the West.

As of the 2:00 AM Hawaii Standard Time advisory, Flossie was located some 600 miles to the east of Hilo on the big island, or 790 miles East of Honolulu.  The storm had been moving a bit more northwesterly on Saturday, but took more of a turn to the west.  Sea surface temperatures in the area of the storm are running a bit cool at about 25 degrees Celsius, or 77 degrees Fahrenheit.  At that water temperature, Flossie should be able to maintain itself for the time being, but not strengthen.  Sea surface temperatures in the immediate area of the islands warms up to 26 degrees Celsius or just below 79 degrees.

Flossie is expected to begin affecting the big island of Hawaii on Monday morning, and progress westward into Maui county later in the day according to the CPHC.  A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for coastal waters east of the Kaiwi Channel.  A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for the Kauai Channel, and the leeward and windward waters of Oahu.  The storm has the potential to bring thunderstorms producing heavy rains and flooding on the islands.  Flossie began as a depression in the Eastern Pacific back on the evening of July 24th.

Over the next two days, Flossie gradually strengthened to become a very strong tropical storm with winds approaching hurricane force at 70 miles per hour early Saturday morning PDT.  Over the past 24 hours though it has weakened a bit, and that trend is expected to continue as it moves through relatively cooler water.  Flossie is the sixth named storm to form in the Eastern Pacific, which began its season back on May 15th.  Of those six named storms, four of them have gone on to become hurricanes.  Flossie is the first storm to threaten Hawaii since 2007 when another Flossie approached the islands.