The tropics have finally started to heat up as Hurricane Flossie is now threatening the Hawaiian Islands. As of the latest advisory, Flossie was listed as a Category 4 hurricane and is expected to maintain hurricane status until it reaches the vicinity of the Big Island.
The official forecast does not call for Flossie to directly strike Hawaii, but it should bring high seas, increased rain, and generally dreary weather to the Aloha State by Tuesday evening. It is worth noting that is a large spread of forecast tracks amongst the models so a direct landfall can not be ruled out at this time.
At this time the UK Met, NOGAPS, and GFDL model both call for Flossie to directly impact Hawaii. However, the GFS has been consistently maintaining that Flossie will stay south of the islands. Considering how well the GFS has been handling this system, it is tempting to wait the forecast toward the GFS. Even a week ago the GFS was calling for a hurricane in the area. However, a look at the current model field indicates the the GFS has serious errors in its initialization (it is nearly completely missing the storm).
Flossie is expected to steadily weaken before landfall and should impact Hawaii as a borderline hurricane / tropical storm. Although Flossie is moving into an area of increasingly cooler water and increased wind shear, rapid degeneration is not expected at this time.
For more information, check back with us or visit the Central Pacific Hurricane Center.