Tropical Storm Henriette graduated to hurricane status this morning, and is actively heading westward through the central Pacific Ocean. Weather.com is currently tracking the development of the storm.
At last update, the storm was heading west-northwest at approximately 10 mph, and is expected to weaken as it closes on the Hawaiian island chain.
Strong winds of at least 65 mph are expected to accompany the former tropical storm on its journey to the Hawaiian Islands.
Although slightly less windy, Tropical Storm Gil is also wreaking havoc throughout the Pacific, currently located a little over 1200 miles east-southeast of Honolulu. Gil was last reported travelling west at about 9 mph. The Christian Science Monitor reports the U.S. National Hurricane center as saying that Gil is projected to strengthen over the next two days.
The close proximity to the Hawaiian islands has some meteorologists speculating about the possibility that Gil may take a side-track towards Hawaii, like Kristina Pydynowski for Accuweather.com. However, while Gil was labeled hurricane status last week, those same meteorologists noted that tropical storms reaching Hawaii are rare indeed.
"As discussed during Flossie's existence, just one tropical storm or hurricane reaching Hawaii in a year is a rare feat in itself. The last such time before Flossie was Hurricane Iniki in 1992. Only once since 1950 have two named storms, with tropical storm or hurricane strength, passed within 75 miles of Hawaii. Gilma and Iwa from 1982 make up that rare occurrence," Pydynowski wrote in her article.
If you want to follow the storm's path via interactive direct satellite, Weather.com has an excellent map that clearly illustrates the positions of Hurricane Henriette and Tropical Storm Gil.
Image courtesy Weather.com