Depression strengthens into Tropical Storm Wali in Central Pacif - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

COPY-Depression strengthens into Tropical Storm Wali in Central Pacific

Forecasters are now tracking the year's first tropical cyclone in the Central Pacific. 

Tropical Depression One-C has strengthened into Tropical Storm Wali about 1,060 miles east-southeast of Hilo.

The cyclone had maximum sustained winds of 45 miles per hour with higher gusts. Wali is currently moving toward the northwest at nine miles per hour.

It is expected to continue in that direction for the next couple of days. Forecasters expect some strengthening over the next day or so, followed by weakening. Tropical Storm force winds extend outward up to 90 miles from the center.

The last Hawaiian-named storm in the Central Pacific, Tropical Storm Unala, occurred on Aug. 19, 2013.

"It only has a short time to strengthen before shear begins to rip the top off of it. The system will still be a big heavy rain threat for the islands as we head through the weekend," said National Weather Service forecaster Bob Ballard.

Moisture from the system is due into the state starting Saturday night lingering through Sunday. Lighter winds, higher humidity levels, and spotty heavy rain are expected. Drier, more stable weather is due back on Tuesday.

Here are some tips from the Central Pacific Hurricane Center when a hurricane or tropical storm threatens...

• Secure loose outdoor objects that might be blown away by high winds, and become flying debris.

• Boats should be moored securely, or moved to a designated safe area well before the storm arrives.

• Windows should be boarded up. Larger windows may be broken by wind pressure, while smaller windows are mainly damaged by wind driven debris.

• If evacuation is required, be sure to take your disaster supply kit when leaving for a designated shelter. Keep in mind that evacuation routes may become flooded or cut off, even before the full force of the tropical cyclone arrives.

Check out our HNN Hurricane page, Hurricane Tracker, Interactive Radar and Pacific Satellite Center.Stay alert and safe with Hawaii News Now.

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