Tropical Storm Akoni in Central Pacific may turn near Hawaii next week

Alex Sosnowski

While there is significant attention focused on Hurricane Dorian in the Western Hemisphere, Tropical Storm Akoni in the Pacific is likely to strengthen and cause trouble in the Hawaiian Islands in the coming days.

Akoni first developed into a tropical depression on Wednesday in the Central Pacific basin. At 1 p.m. HST Thursday, the disturbance was upgraded to a tropical storm with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph.

Hurricane Juliette will continue to spin well off the coast of Mexico into the end of this week, but it is Akoni that may be of concern for the islands this weekend to early next week.

T.D. 12 9.4 4am
This image, taken on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019, shows the eastern and central Pacific Ocean with Hawaii to the left and North America to the right. Hurricane Julliette can be seen spinning southwest of Baja California, Mexico. A mass of showers and thunderstorms southeast of Hawaii is Tropical Storm Akoni. (NOAA/GOES-West)

"Waters are significantly warm and wind shear is low in this sector of the Pacific Ocean," AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski said.

Steering winds are likely to allow Akoni to track west before turning slightly northwest into this weekend.

As the system organizes, an area of showers and thunderstorms may bulge to the north, which may enhance the routine trade wind rainfall this weekend initially.

While most of these systems tend to behave in this manner, there is the potential for this one to do something a bit different, depending on feature over the northern Pacific Ocean.

akoni fri 5am

There is some concern that as a non-tropical storm and trailing cold front approach from the northwest that Akoni could be pulled northward early next week.

Should this occur, conditions may worsen over Hawaii, in the form of more significant downpours, gusty thunderstorms and rough seas and surf conditions, especially the central and western islands of Hawaii next week.

How rough conditions get in this case or not would depend on the strength and exact track of the tropical storm. Akoni is likely to remain a tropical storm, but could potentially become a Category 1 hurricane for a time.

Should Akoni remain weak and miss the pickup by the approaching storm and cold front, the southward extension of the front may still bring some shower and thunderstorm activity to the western and southern shores of the islands in general.

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