Forecasters eye “hyperactive” tropical Pacific Ocean
FRISCO — Meteorologists are keeping a close eye on what they describe as a hyperactive tropical Pacific Ocean, and especially on Hurricane Iselle, which is headed straight toward Hawaii with current sustained winds of 140 mph.
Iselle is expected to weaken before nearing the islands in about three days, but could still be packing a tropical storm-force punch, with winds of 60-60 mph. The Category 4 storm is expected to maintain strength for the next day or so before moving over cooler water and weakening.
Right behind Iselle is Tropical Storm Julio which is forecast to follow a similar path toward the Hawaiian Islands. Julio’s current winds of about 40 mph are forecast to increase up to 90 mph later this week as it approaches Hawaii.
During recent days, have been as many as five tropical systems spinning at the same time in the Pacific. Southwest of Hawaii and moving out to sea, Tropical Depression Genevieve could strengthen on August 4 and 5, once again reaching tropical storm status.
Sea surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific have been running above average for several months but haven’t quite reached full El Niño status yet but the warm ocean is likely contributing to the abundance of Pacific tropical systems.