Forecasters keeping an eye on unusual storm in the central Pacific - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Forecasters keeping an eye on unusual storm in the central Pacific

Tom Birchard Tom Birchard

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - An unusual situation has popped up in the central Pacific Ocean about 1300 miles south of the Hawaiian islands. Even though Hawaii is well outside of hurricane season, forecasters are watching for possible strengthening and organization of a group of thunderstorms brewing near the Line Islands.

Guy Hagi spoke with Central Pacific Hurricane Center forecaster Tom Birchard Wednesday on Hawaii News Now at 5:30 PM.

Guy Hagi: What is it about this cluster of thunderstorms that got your attention?

Tom Birchard: It has been percolating in the same area for the last two days or so, for the most part it is the persistence of the thunderstorms and also the fact that we are in an El Nino year that has us keeping an eye on this area of thunderstorms.

Guy: And it is significant that it is El Nino? There have been systems in the past in that area during El Nino years that have caused some trouble.

Tom: Right. During our so-called "off" season we have had tropical cyclones form in the same general area, and it has been predominantly during El Nino years. So knowing that, we have an extra level of surveillance on this area of thunderstorms.

Guy: Now even it doesn't become a cyclone, could it still affect Hawaii based upon how it is moving and its strength at this time?

Tom: At this point it looks like any impacts on the islands are… none. The winds around this system aren't very organized, so it doesn't look like it will produce any sort of swell for us. And as far as producing any weather, it is about 1300 miles away and it looks like chances of it developing are pretty slim, and chances of it developing and it affecting us are even slimmer.

Powered by Frankly