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Anatomy of a storm: Flossie's almost direct hit on Hawaii

By Paul Drewes
Published On: Jul 30 2013 05:27:00 PM HST

KITV4's Paul Drewes explains about Flossie and why Maui was hardest hit.

HONOLULU -

It may have felt like Hawaii was hit by a tropical storm, but technically, it wasn't.

Hawaii has seen its share of stormy weather over the past few years, but it has been decades since a powerful tropical cyclone actually hit Hawaii.

Flossie seemed to end this drought as the tropical storm brought downpours and a spectacular lightning show, but in the end the storm turned out to be a very close miss because it did not make landfall in the islands.

Flossie formed in the Pacific Ocean 10 days ago, fueled by warm ocean water, quickly becoming a tropical storm.

It headed northwest toward Hawaii and grew stronger, seeming to take aim at the islands.

But just before it arrived, the center of Flossie took a job to the north, while the thunderstorms that helped to fuel it went to the south over the state.

Those dramatic thunderstorms dumped rain over Maui County, as Flossie weakened into a tropical depression.

The storm didn't make a direct hit, and neither did sustained winds of more than 40 mph.

Even though Flossie was closely tracked and monitored, this storm still had some surprises, even for the experts at the Central Pacific Hurricane Center.

"We kept expecting a weakening trend, but on consecutive nights we saw Flossie take some intensification trends that was some of the more surprising things with Flossie," said one CPHC meteorologist.

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