Tropical Storm Wali forms 1,055 miles ESE of the Big Island
Tropical Storm Wali, the first named storm of the 2014 Central Pacific Hurricane Season, formed Thursday afternoon about 1,000 miles east-southeast of Hilo, Central Pacific Hurricane Center forecasters in Honolulu said.
At 12 p.m., the center of the storm was located about 1,055 miles east-southeast of Hilo and packing sustained winds around 45 mph, forecasters said. Wali, which means smooth, or thin, as in poi in Hawaiian, is moving northwest around 6 mph.
The storm is expected to strengthen during the next 24 hours, forecasters said. Weakening is expected thereafter.
Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 90 miles, according to forecasters. There are currently no watches or warnings in effect.
Elsewhere in the Central Pacific Ocean, which is located between 140 degrees west longitude and the International Dateline, no tropical cyclones are expected to form through Saturday morning.
Central Pacific Hurricane Center officials predicted four to seven tropical cyclones this year in the Central North Pacific Basin. Overall, they give this season an 80 percent chance for a normal to above average number of tropical storms to form.
The Central Pacific hurricane season began June 1 and ends Nov. 30.