Updated 01:10 PM EDT, Thu, Oct 21, 2021

Hurricane Iselle Update: Storm Info, Landfall Time, Hawaii Braces for Impact

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It's not considered a major weather event, but Hurricane Iselle is expected to hit Hawaii late Thursday or Friday bringing heavy winds and rain. Forecasters originally thought it would weaken to a tropical storm by the time it made landfall, but it's packing extra power, according to reports.

The storm, which is the first one to hit the island in more than two decades will disrupt wedding plans, family vacations and could impact mid-term elections on the island. Hawaiian Airlines is reportedly allowed travelers to change their flight plans for free.

"Hurricane Iselle was expected to arrive on the Big Island on Thursday evening, bringing heavy rains, winds gusting up to 85 mph and flooding in some areas. Weather officials changed their outlook on the system Wednesday after seeing it get a little stronger, giving it enough oomph to stay a hurricane as it reaches landfall," reports the Associated Press.

As Weather.gov reports: "Hurricane Iselle continues on a path toward Hawaii as a Category 1 storm, with max. sustained winds near 90 mph. Some weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours, but Iselle is now expected to be a hurricane as it passes near or over the Big Island Thursday night, before passing just south of the smaller islands of Hawaii on Friday. A Hurricane Warning is currently in place for the Big Island."

Hurricane Julio is right behind Iselle, ready to hit Hawaii with a one-two punch, but forecasters say Julio will make less trouble since the system appears to be weakening and will grow less furious as the weekend progresses. Still, the onslaught of two Hurricanes in the same week is something Hawaii has never had to deal with before.

"Hawaii has been directly hit by hurricanes only three times since 1950, though the region has had 147 tropical cyclones over that time," reports the AP. "The last time Hawaii was hit with a tropical storm or hurricane was in 1992, when Hurricane Iniki killed six people and destroyed more than 1,400 homes in Kauai, said meteorologist Eric Lau."

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