Tropical Storm Henriette Reaches Hurricane Strength With 75MPH Winds, Barrels Northwest Towards Hawaii [VIDEO]
Tropical Storm Henriette has been upgraded to a hurricane after the storm intensified early Tuesday morning. The storm, located in the Pacific Ocean about 1,630 miles east-southeast of Hawaii, has winds reaching 75 mph and is moving west-northwest at about 10 mph. Tropical Storm Henriette is headed towards Hawaii, and while the storm won't make direct contact with the islands, it will most likely brush by them late this weekend.
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According to the U.S. National Hurricane Center, Tropical Storm Henriette is expected to gain strength over the next day or two, but may begin to weaken starting Wednesday or Thursday due to more stable air and cooler water. But storm watchers aren't ruling out an encounter with the Hawaiian Islands, and meteorologists there are keeping an eye on the hurricane as it drifts across the Pacific Ocean.
Tropical Storm Henriette formed Saturday, August 3. It has been gaining momentum and power since then, and has remained far from land. The Weather Channel reports that if the storm, which reached Hurricane strength early Tuesday, does reach Hawaii, it will probably be much weaker by then.
Hawaii was pounded by Tropical Storm Flossie late last month. The islands were drenched and experienced widespread thunder and lightning. USA Today reports that thousands of homes had their power knocked out. At one point, rain fell at a rate of 4 inches per hour.
The name Henriette has been used for four other tropical cyclones in the Eastern Pacific ocean. The first was in 1983 when Hurricane Henriette developed off the coast of Guatemala and then made its way out into the Pacific Ocean. The last time Henriette formed was in 2007, when Hurricane Henriette barreled along the Mexican Pacific coastline. The cyclone caused severe landslides and nine fatalities. It was the deadliest tropical storm of the 2007 season.
The 2013 Pacific hurricane season began May 15 in the Eastern Pacific and started a few weeks later, on June 1, in the Central Pacific. Both seasons run through Nov. 30. There have been six other tropical storms this season, in addition to Tropical Storm Henriette and Hurricane Gil, which began July 29 and is currently about 1,080 miles east-southeast of Hawaii.
This season's roster of storms includes: Tropical storm Alvin, Hurricane Barbara, Hurricane Cosme, Hurricane Dalila, Hurricane Erick, Tropical Storm Flossie and now Tropical Storm Henriette and Hurricane Gil.
Watch footage from 2007 showing Hurricane Henriette in San Carlos, a beachfront town off Mexico's Gulf of California:
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