HONOLULU – Tropical depression Kilo is expected to gradually strengthen and could pass Kauai as a hurricane next week, according to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center.
Kilo was about 520 miles south of Honolulu with sustained winds of 30 mph on Saturday morning, reported Hawaii News Now (http://bit.ly/1I2OhTH).
The hurricane center says Kilo could regain strength, becoming a tropical storm by Sunday night and a hurricane by Thursday. It is supposed to take a northward turn, and the timing of the turn will determine how much of a threat it is to Kauai and Oahu, according to forecasters.
"There is considerable uncertainty as to where this system will make its turn toward the north, so people in Hawaii should continue to pay attention to the forecast and be ready for any changes over the next few days," Robert Ballard of the National Weather Service and the hurricane center told Hawaii News Now.
But it is still unclear whether Kilo will develop into a hurricane. Forecasters at the Central Pacific Hurricane Center noted that the predictions may be irrelevant if the storm doesn't develop deep convection near its center.
"Every tropical cyclone is different. Just because we have been lucky so far this season with Guillermo and Hilda does not mean we will be so lucky for the rest of the season," said Ballard.
Tom Evans, acting director of the hurricane center, said the storm is expected to pass over warm water to the south of the islands and avoid wind shears in the northern area of the state that weakened previous storm systems.
"We saw the tearing of Guillermo and Hilda, but with this one we don't have that wind shear. We have very weak wind shear," said Evans. "And that's why the developing and strengthening is expected, even to hurricane strength."
Information from: KGMB-TV, http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/