Hurricane Henriette: Strongest Storm of 2013, Expected to Become Category 2

Wednesday, 07 Aug 2013 12:07 PM

By Michael Mullins

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Hurricane Henriette is the strongest storm of 2013, with 90-mph winds Tuesday morning that are expected to reach 100 mph, as the storm continues across the Pacific Ocean before passing just south of Hawaii over the weekend.

In the coming days, Hurricane Henriette is expected to increase to a Category 2 storm, according to Chris Vaccaro, the director of public affairs at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

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The storm is currently 1,545 miles east of Hawaii, and NOAA meteorologist Dennis Feltgen told NBC News that "at this time, we do not anticipate Henriette making a landfall."

The last storm that hit Hawaii was tropical storm Flossie, which struck the islands at the end of July. It caused little damage and no deaths, Weather.com reported.

Henriette will weaken to a tropical depression before it passes south of Hawaii, according to current forecasts, Vaccaro adds.

The severity of a storm is defined by its wind speeds.

Whereas a hurricane's wind speeds are between 74 and 110 mph, a tropical depression's winds are typically less than 39 mph, according to NOAA.

Thus far, the Pacific Ocean has faced eight named storms in 2013 — four of which have advanced to hurricanes, NBC News notes.

The Atlantic Ocean, meanwhile, has seen four.

"The eastern Pacific basin tends to be more active than the Atlantic" during hurricane season, Vaccaro told NBC News.

Despite the disparity in storm activity between the oceans, hurricane activity in the Atlantic Ocean is expected to be above average in 2013.

Hurricane season in the eastern Pacific Ocean began May 8, whereas the Atlantic Ocean's hurricane season began June 1.

The heaviest hurricane activity has yet to be seen, however, according to Feltgen, who told NBC News that the oceans see the most activity between mid-August and late October.

By Nov. 1, Hurricane season concludes in both oceans, according to Feltgen.

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Related stories:

NOAA Hurricane Forecast: 6 Atlantic Storms Stronger Than Sandy This Summer

Hurricane Sandy Building to Worst Storm in 100 Years

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