Kilo to Strengthen, May Take Aim at Hawaii Late Week

By By Alex Sosnowski, senior meteorologist.
August 24, 2015, 3:15:39 AM EDT

This story is no longer being updated. To view the latest information on Kilo, please visit this news story.

The weakening Kilo experienced Friday night will be reversed through early in the new week as the future hurricane curves toward Hawaii.

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

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The system is currently a tropical depression. As of 5 a.m. HST Sunday (11 a.m. EDT Sunday), Kilo was located about 570 miles southwest of Honolulu, Hawaii. Kilo is expected to strengthen into a tropical storm later Sunday and then a hurricane at midweek.

AccuWeather meteorologists believe that the system will track to the west-northwest through the weekend before making a northeastward turn next week.

Depending on if Kilo continues that northeastward track or slows/stalls before curving back to the west later next week will determine whether or not significant impacts of flooding rain, damaging winds and coastal flooding reach Ni'ihau, Kaua'i and Oahu.


Ahead of any significant impacts to Hawaii, surf will build along the south-facing shoreline of the islands into early next week. Small craft operators should pay particular attention to the system.

Except for the east-facing slopes of the islands, much of the island chain could stand a thorough soaking, shy of flooding rainfall.

Portions of all of the islands are either abnormally dry or in moderate drought, according to the United States Drought Monitor.

Regardless of the exact track of Kilo, Hawaii will get some rain well before the future hurricane curves north toward the islands.

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Tropical moisture surging away from Kilo is spreading across Hawaii, allowing the stage to be set for drenching showers and even thunderstorms to occur daily into early next week. Localized flash flooding may result with mudslides possible in the higher terrain.

The question remains will the system track so close to bring a more widespread risk of flooding and damaging winds or just more beneficial/nuisance rainfall later next week.

The threat of flooding may still exist if Kilo approaches but stalls just shy of reaching the islands. That is especially true for the central and northwestern islands in the chain.

In this scenario, tropical moisture interacting with a front approaching from the northwest would then further enhance rainfall later next week. The flash flood risk will increase as the ground becomes saturated from downpours earlier in the week. will continue to provide updates on the storm through the new week.


The latest satellite image of Kilo courtesy of NOAA.

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

According to AccuWeather Meteorologist Brian Lada, typically, tropical systems approach Hawaii from the east, impacting the Big Island first, then progress westward across the island chain.

"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 Nino, 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.

On Friday afternoon, Tropical Storm Loke developed over the central Pacific southwest of Hawaii but has since weakened to a tropical depression.

Loke is expected to stay relatively weak and remain far enough to the west to have no impact on Hawaii.

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.

AccuWeather Meteorologists Brian Lada and Kristina Pydynowski contributed content to this story.

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