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Fox News Weather Center

Hawaii Remains Alert for Tropical Threats as Systems Brew in East Pacific

The tropics have been quite active around Hawaii as of late, and the pattern is not expected to change anytime soon.

Tropical Depression 12E formed in the eastern Pacific Monday night. The system will take a general west-northwest path over the rest of the week. While this feature poses no immediate threat to land, it could bring impacts to Hawaii farther down the road.

Wind shear will generally remain low over the next few days, and in combination with warm sea surface, temperatures should allow strengthening to take place. When 12E strengthens to a tropical storm, it will take on the name Ignacio.

Due to favorable conditions through the end of the week, this system may reach hurricane status.

The exact track of the storm and whether it passes close to Hawaii will depend on the strength of the system and an area of high pressure across the central Pacific.

If it passes close to Hawaii, rough surf and rip currents can be expected along the east-facing shores of the Hawaiian Islands. An uptick in moisture can also help enhance showers that could lead to flooding.

Those with interests in this area will want to check the AccuWeather Hurricane Center over the coming days.

While this feature spins in the eastern Pacific, there are other systems that are bringing enhanced showers to Hawaii.

Kilo and Loke are helping to fuel enhanced showers over the Hawaiian Islands, leading to high rainfall amounts and flooding in some areas.

Honolulu recorded 3.60 inches of rain Monday, more than 6 times the normal monthly amount. This heavy rain has been causing many issues from flooding and washed-out roadways to sewer overflows.

According to a press release from the City and County of Honolulu, several sanitary sewer overflows occurred due to heavy rain, forcing beach closures and a Brown Water Advisory to be issued.

While these systems will have no direct impact to the islands and will actually continue to move away this week, they will still be close enough to bring the threat for additional flooding from heavy showers and also rough surf and rip currents along south-facing shores.

Typical trade winds that were disrupted from these two systems will return toward the end of the week, which should help diminish the threat for heavy showers.

Rainfall amounts for the month of August have been well above normal across Hawaii. This is largely brought on by an increase in tropical activity from an influence of El Niño.

Hawaii Rainfall Aug. 1-24
City Observed Amount (inches) Normal Amount (inches)
Wheeler AFB 7.92 3.07
Honolulu 4.73 0.43
Kalaeloa 3.14 0.55
Lihue 6.68 1.70
Hilo 16.78 7.82

"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," said AccuWeather Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski.

With the El Niño expected to strengthen into fall, the risk for additional tropical activity will continue over the next several weeks. This means the risk for additional flooding rainfall but also rainfall that would help the drought.

As of last Thursday, the U.S. Drought Monitor reported nearly 30 percent of Hawaii was in the grips of a drought. Rainfall from tropical systems would help alleviate drought conditions across the state.