Hurricane Gil Follows Flossie
By By Kristina Pydynowski, senior meteorologist
August 05, 2013, 5:51:05 AM EDT
In the wake of Flossie's rare track to Hawaii, Hurricane Gil was spinning westward over the eastern Pacific Ocean.
Hurricane Gil took shape Tuesday afternoon and continues to track just north of west away from mainland Mexico.
Gil's status of a hurricane should be brief with a weakening trend expected to commence Friday night as it moves over normally cooler waters. These waters have also been additionally cooled by churning action from Flossie days earlier.
As far as whether Gil follows in the footsteps of once-Tropical Storm Flossie and makes another rare track to Hawaii waters, such a solution cannot be ruled out but is not likely.
A more favored scenario is for Gil to continue on a west heading into the weekend, posing only a danger to shipping interests.
Gil should eventually track south of Hawaii later next week but may not even be a tropical storm or depression at that time.
It would be extremely unusual for Gil to track similarly to Flossie and target the Hawaiian islands later next week.
As discussed during Flossie's existence, just one tropical storm or hurricane reaching Hawaii in a year is a rare feat in itself. The last such time before Flossie was Hurricane Iniki in 1992.
Only once since 1950 have two named storms, with tropical storm or hurricane strength, passed within 75 miles of Hawaii. Gilma and Iwa from 1982 make up that rare occurrence.
Gilma was a weakening tropical storm as it tracked south of the Big Island for the start of August. Hurricane Iwa followed in late November and passed extremely close to the islands of Niihau and Kauai.
Iwa, and the only two hurricanes that have made landfall in Hawaii since 1950, all arrived from the warm waters to the south. Such tracks, however, are not common in the central Pacific Ocean.
The majority of tropical systems in the eastern and central Pacific move from east to west. The ones that do approach Hawaii are typically forced to weaken due to the cool waters that lie east of the islands.
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