LIHUE — Hawaii’s first tropical cyclone of the hurricane season may impact the state by the weekend, officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Tuesday.
Tropical Depression Four-E, which formed Tuesday afternoon 1,000 miles southeast of Hawaii, may develop into Tropical Storm Ela by Wednesday if it continues to strengthen.
“Based on what the forecast models show us, it looks like it will be impacting or moving to the north of the island chain by Friday through the weekend,” said Matt Foster, NOAA meteorologist.
Foster said it’s too early to predict the exact path of the cyclone, but models forecast different scenarios depending on the depression’s future track.
“Some of the models are having it move back to the west-southwest going over the Big Island and Maui, and Kauai would be on the northern end of it.”
Foster said, however, “in the short-term, it will likely be a tropical depression.”
Showers and thunderstorms are associated with the depression, which is moving west-northwest toward the Aloha State at 15 to 20 mph.
Foster said if the cyclone follows a west-southwest track model, Kauai would receive more of a wind impact and less impact from rain.
However, he said if the depression passes north, parallel of the islands, residents can expect very humid conditions over the weekend.
“Last week when we had warm temperatures, it would even be worse than that,” he said.
Foster said temperatures could peak nearly 100 degrees in some low-lying coastal areas, while the moisture could result in weakening of winds and localized showers and thunderstorms Friday through Sunday.