Hawaii Hurricane

What's Behind Hawaii's Twin Hurricanes? Mostly Luck

All sorts of weather factors came together for Hawaii's twin hurricane threat: stuck currents, an oddball brewing El Nino, slightly warmer water ... but mostly just bad luck. It's been nearly 22 years without a hurricane hitting Hawaii, and only three direct landfalls since 1950. This week, Hawaiii is facing Hurricane Iselle with Hurricane Julio right behind. "You roll the dice enough times, you get something like this," said Jeff Masters, meteorology director at Weather Underground. The good news is that the hurricanes are coming from the east, where storms are weaker and the water is cooler, said former National Hurricane Center Director Max Mayfield.

Two big storms in a row isn't that weird, Mayfield said. When conditions are ripe for a hurricane to brew, sometimes another forms in the same area a few days later — often guided on the same path. Mayfield said global warming isn't a factor. But Masters said researchers have used computer models to show that as the world warms, steering currents should change. The result? More hurricanes for Hawaii, and fewer for Mexico.




— The Associated Press