The Latest on Tropical Storm Matthew (all times local):9:05 p.m.
A tropical storm has strengthened and is now moving south-northeast across the Western Pacific, with gusts of up to 55 mph, forecasters said Thursday.
The National Hurricane Center says the storm is moving west-northwest and will arrive in Maui Friday.
Forecasters are calling the storm “extremely dangerous” because of its low-lying track and because it’s heading toward the island of Oahu, home to about half of the state’s population.
Forecasters say it will become a Category 2 hurricane and will bring “severe” winds and rain to much of the island, which is also experiencing extreme heat and drought.
The storm’s tropical-storm-force winds are expected to reach up to 70 mph in some areas, forecaster David Goulson said.
He warned that the storm will bring rain and strong winds to parts of the islands north of Maui, but that those areas could be spared from flooding.
The forecast calls for a maximum sustained wind of 80 mph and gusts up to 115 mph.
The National Hurricane Centre says the center of the storm’s eye is about 250 miles (370 kilometers) south-southwest of Honolulu, and it is headed toward Hawaii’s main island, Oahu.
The center of Tropical Storm Matt (Photo: National Hurricane Centers)10:55 p.p.m.: A tropical storm is strengthening and is moving east-northwesterly in the western Pacific, forecast experts say.
The NHC says the NHC has upgraded the storm to a Category 4 storm.
The NHC said the storm was located about 50 miles (80 kilometers) east-nautical miles (91 kilometers) northeast of Honolulu.
Forecaster Mike Kuehn says that, as of Wednesday evening, the storm had winds of up and gust of up 60 mph.
Kuehn said the strongest winds will hit Hawaii’s central and western islands and the islands of O’ahu and Maua.
Forecast centers say the storm could move to the northwesterlies in the Pacific and into the Indian Ocean before it gets into the Atlantic Ocean.
The hurricane-force wind gusts are expected in Hawaii’s northern and central islands by Thursday evening.
Forecasts are for a high probability of tropical storm-force rain and a storm surge of up as much as 4 feet (1.5 meters).
The storm could bring heavy downpours to Hawaii’s east coast by Thursday night.
A severe thunderstorm warning remains in effect for parts of northern and western Hawaii.
Forecasting centers say that the hurricane will bring winds up to 90 mph (154 kph), with sustained gusts over 75 mph (140 kph).
The hurricane is moving northwest at 11 mph (19 kph) and is expected to make landfall in the central and eastern Hawaiian islands sometime Thursday.