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Double tropical threat looms for Hawaii next week

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Hawaii is facing not one, but two tropical threats next week as Madeline and Lester churn westward.

Tropical Storm Madeline and Hurricane Lester currently only pose hazards to shipping interests over the open waters of the Pacific Ocean.

However, residents and visitors to Hawaii are being urged to closely monitor the track of both for possible impacts from the middle of next week to next weekend.

"Sufficiently warm water and low wind shear will allow these systems to strengthen through early next week as they move in the general direction of Hawaii," AccuWeather Meteorologist Ed Vallee said.

Wind shear refers to disruptive winds in the atmosphere. Strong wind shear can prevent a tropical system from developing or can shred a hurricane or tropical storm apart.

Madeline is expected to join Lester in becoming a hurricane late in the weekend.

"As Madeline and Lester approach Hawaii, water temperatures are lower," Vallee said. "So weakening can be expected first by Madeline the middle of next week, and then by Lester by the end of next week."

Despite weakening, each system will still kick up rough surf and rip currents around the Hawaiian Islands. The east-facing beaches will likely be most at risk for the highest surf and greatest risk of rip currents.

Whether more severe impacts threaten the islands will depend on the exact track of both Madeline and Lester.

A track through the islands by either or both storms would also lead to a period of potentially flooding rain, strong winds and coastal flooding.

If Madeline threatens Hawaii, it would be around the middle of next week. Lester would quickly follow on its heels next weekend.

Vallee cautioned that the exact track of both is uncertain. It is possible that either or both steer away from the islands with the only impacts being to swimmers and boaters from rough surf.

All residents and visitors should continue to check back with AccuWeather as more precise details on the tracks and impacts unfold.