Tropical Storm Walaka formed Saturday about 700 miles south of Honolulu, HI. The Central Pacific Hurricane Center began issuing advisories on the storm as a low level center of circulation was detected amongst a cluster of thunderstorms that had been lingering near Hawaii for several days.
A ridge of high pressure will continue to push Walaka west into early next week, keeping it away from the Hawaiian Islands. Walaka will turn north by next Tuesday, taking it very close to Johnston Island. Hurricane Watches may be issued for potential impacts there.
Low vertical wind shear and sufficiently warm sea surface temperatures will allow Walaka to become a major hurricane early next week. After Tuesday, however, a harsher environment will start the weakening process.
Unlike the Atlantic and Pacific, the list of names used does not reset every year. Instead, it is four lists that start as soon as the last list is finished. Walaka is the last name on the fourth list. For the first time since it was created in 1982, the first list will be restarted for the next named storm.
The Central Pacific hurricane season typically lasts from June 1 - November 30.
For WeatherNation, Meteorologist Karissa Klos