Two hurricanes on course to Hawaii’s Big Island
And if either storm makes landfall, it would be the first hurricane to hit that island since records began in 1949.
First in line is Hurricane Madeline. Madeline weakened overnight with maximum sustained winds of 80 mph and was centered about 140 miles east-southeast of Hilo and 355 miles east-southeast of Honolulu. The storm is moving west at 14 mph.
“This looks like potentially the strongest tropical cyclone, which includes hurricanes and tropical storms, to approach very close to the coast in the past several years,” Central Pacific Hurricane Center meteorologist Chris Brenchley said.
Right behind Madeline is Hurricane Lester.
Lester is a very powerful Category 4 storm and should affect the Hawaiian islands over the weekend, depending on its exact track and speed, but forecasts show it will not come as close to land as Madeline. Lester is expected to bring heavy rain, gusty winds and bigger surf.
Meteorologists have described the double hurricanes as an unprecedented situation, especially since hurricanes in general are pretty rare in Hawaii.