|Radar image of tropical storm Isele crossing the coast of the Big Island, Hilo, this morning. The yellow storm above is the forecast track of Hurricane Julio by late in the weekend. (Weather Underground)|
The tropical Pacific Ocean is rather active this week. The big island of Hilo in the Hawaiian Islands was pounded overnight by Tropical Storm Isele. The system is crossing the island this morning with winds close to 100km/h with higher gusts and very heavy rain up to 10 inches (250mm). Trees are down and power is out to over 24,000 homes on Hilo. But so far the damage has been light, confined to coastal regions. Hilo has never been hit by a land falling hurricane and not this time either as Isele weakened below hurricane status late last night. Isele has 60mph winds this morning and is located about 45 miles (80km) south of the city of Hilo. The storm will continue a slow westward march across the islands today at 7mph (11km/h).
Meanwhile Hurricane Julio with 120mph winds is located about 970miles east of The Big Island, Hilo moving west at 16mph (26km/h). The storm is forecast to brush the northern Hawaiian Islands by the end of the weekend. While Julio is a category 3 storm this morning, it is forecast to weaken over the weekend. It has been 22 years since Hawaii has had a direct hit from a major hurricane. This is rather historic to have two systems affect them in rapid succession.