The National Weather Service reports that Tropical Depression Genevieve, currently south of Hawaii, may strengthen into a tropical storm.
The depression is moving slowly westward far southeast of the Big Island, roughly 575 miles south-southeast of Hilo, with little change in intensity.
However, forecasters expect it to strengthen slightly during the next 24 to 48 hours.
At 11 a.m. Wednesday, it was moving westward near 7 mph with maximum sustained winds near 35 mph and that motion is expected to continue for the next 48 hours.
Chris Brenchley of the National Weather Service said a storm may be formed because thunderstorms are in the depression’s center and have been sustained over a 24-hour period.
Compared to Hurricane Iniki, which shifted its direction into the Hawaiian Islands, Brenchley said that, according to current weather forecast models, Genevieve should continue to move west and stay south of Hawaii due to tradewinds.
“All the computer models that we look at keep a blocking ridge to the north of Hawaii and what that does is it steers Genvieve to the west and keeps it south of the islands,” he said.