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Hawaii Faces Downpours as Kilo Attempts to Approach

While Kilo will not make its closest approach to Hawaii until later in the week, potentially flooding downpours are already a concern across the state.

Residents and visitors will need to monitor the strength and track of Tropical Depression Kilo, currently spinning south of the Hawaiian Islands.

As of 5 a.m. HST Sunday (11 a.m. EDT Sunday), Kilo was a tropical depression and located about 570 miles southwest of Honolulu, Hawaii.

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The combination of shallow warm water and low wind shear will allow Kilo to re-strengthen into a tropical storm by the start of the new week and a minimal hurricane at midweek.

While the west to northwest heading of Kilo makes it seems like the tropical depression is tracking away from Hawaii, Kilo is expected to curve back toward the islands on Tuesday.

Whether or not Kilo continues to take aim at Hawaii later in the week or makes another turn back to the northwest will determine if significant impacts of flooding rain, damaging winds and coastal flooding reach Ni'ihau, Kaua'i and Oahu.

Current indications point toward Kilo turning back away from the islands, but that solution is not etched in stone.

"We cannot rule out any scenario at this time," stated AccuWeather Meteorologist Dave Samuhel. "Until it strengthens, computer models may struggle to handle the future track of Kilo."

Anyone with interests in Hawaii should continue to check back with AccuWeather for the latest updates and begin thinking of the necessary precautions that would have to be made in the event Kilo threatens.

Even with Kilo spinning several hundred miles away, downpours indirectly linked to Kilo will persist through at least the first half of this week.

Tropical moisture has overspread the state and will remain in place through the first half of the week. Humidity levels will remain uncomfortable, and showers and even a couple of thunderstorms will occur daily, including over the drier leeward areas.

Enough moisture is present for some downpours to be unleashed, potentially leading to flash flooding and mudslides. The flood risk will only increase as the wet weather persists and the ground becomes saturated.

Even if flash flooding does not ensue, the downpours threaten to make travel difficult by reducing visibility and heightening the risk of vehicles hydroplaning at highway speeds. Residents and vacationers may have to alter their outdoor plans.

AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski stated that the downpours are not entirely bad news for Hawaii.

"Except for the east-facing slopes of the islands, much of the island chain could stand a thorough soaking, shy of flooding rainfall," he said. "Portions of all of the islands are either abnormally dry or in moderate drought, according to the United States Drought Monitor."

In addition to the downpours, surf along the south-facing shoreline of the islands will gradually build through the week as Kilo strengthens and approaches.

AccuWeather.com will continue to provide updates on the storm through the new week.

The type of track forecast for Kilo is uncommon for systems to take in the central Pacific.

According to AccuWeather Meteorologist Brian Lada, typically, tropical systems approach Hawaii from the east.

"Storms that move in from the east tend to weaken considerably before reaching the Big Island," Lada said.

El Niño years are a reason for concern for possible tropical storm and hurricane strikes on Hawaii.

During El Niño, it is not uncommon for there to be a higher-than-normal number of tropical systems in the central Pacific due to the warmer waters of the Pacific Ocean.

This means that Hawaii could face a few more tropical threats heading into the fall before the tropical cyclone season in the central Pacific comes to an end.

A few systems have hit Hawaii from the south. These tend to have much more impact. Hurricane Iniki was the strongest tropical system to ever hit Hawaii.

Kilo is not the only tropical system roaming the central Pacific. Tropical Storm Loke is spinning well to the west of Hawaii and will not impact the state.

"At this point, we do not expect this system to impact any landmasses, except for the remote Atolls near Midway," stated AccuWeather Meteorologist Evan Duffey.

"Counting Kilo and Loke, there have been five tropical systems that have developed over the waters of the central Pacific, meaning that it will only take one more system to make 2015 an above-normal year for tropical cyclone activity," added Sosnowski.