Two hurricanes, one of them a Category 3, are moving toward the Hawaiian islands — one heading straight for the island chain and another track slightly south.
Hurricane Erick, the larger of the storms, is not expected to make landfall but parts of Hawaii could see increased wind gusts and rain as Erick slides south of the Big Island on Thursday.
It’s expected to weaken to a tropical storm by then, meteorologist Haley Brink said.
Maximum sustained winds stood at 130 mph, officials said.
Hurricane Erick could whip sea waters up to anywhere between 7 and 16 feet by Thursday night, according to a marine forecast from the National Weather Service released Monday.
It’s still too early to tell if rain bands from the storm will impact Hawaii, Brink said.
Tropical Storm #Erick is forecast to move toward the Hawaiian Islands through the week, crossing into the Central Pacific basin late Monday or early Tuesday. Follow @NWSHonolulu for more info on Erick's possible impacts on the islands later in the week. https://t.co/N7jDnjmLGs pic.twitter.com/ksikXPcWTO
— NHC Eastern Pacific (@NHC_Pacific) July 28, 2019
Hurricane Erick is the fifth storm to make its way into the eastern Pacific Ocean so far this season.
Hurricane Flossie is not far behind Erick, building strength farther east. The Category 1 storm had maximum sustained winds of 80 mph. It may take a more direct track toward Hawaii.
Forecasts bring Flossie up to a Category 2 storm by Friday but it’s not expected to impact Hawaii until next week.
As both storms strengthen, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says it will monitor them via satellite.
Erick should exit Hawaiian waters by Saturday.