Tropical Storm Iselle Hits Hawaii Two Days Before Hurricane Julio

The first of the back-to-back storms expected to hit Hawaii made landfall early Friday.

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The first of the back-to-back storms expected to hit Hawaii made landfall early Friday.

Tropical Storm Iselle—downgraded from a hurricane late Thursday after slowing down—arrived with winds of 60 mph at 2:30 a.m. local time, according to the National Weather Service. Hurricane Julio, located about 1,000 miles behind Iselle, is now expected to arrive early Sunday morning, and is also on track to weaken into a tropical storm.

Iselle is the first tropical storm to hit the state in 22 years, following the pattern of Hawaii being sheltered from extreme weather. The state has only seen three hurricanes since 1950, thanks to its position inside the Tropical Upper Tropospheric Trough, which creates winds that are not conducive to building hurricanes.

The paths of the storms. (REUTERS)

The tropical storm has created limited damage so far, John Drummond of Hawaii County Civil Defense told the Associated Press. There were about 33,000 homes without power at one point, but the number fell as systems came back online.

In the meantime, Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie said the state is braced for the back-to-back storms, with the National Guard prepared, as well as offices, schools, and transit services closed ahead of time across Hawaii.

"What we're asking the people to do now is pay attention, stay focused, and listen to the directions," he said in a statement Friday.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.