A hurricane approaching Hawaii this weekend is expected to affect the island less than a tropical storm whose strong winds and heavy rains knocked out power for thousands early Friday.

The storm, formerly Hurricane Iselle but downgraded as its speed slowed, slammed Hawaii with less initial damage than meteorologists forecast, but hovered longer, causing nonstop rain and flooding, Fox News reported. Winds reached up to 65 miles per hour and heavy rains of 4 to 8 inches fell in most areas (and up to a foot in others), according to CNN's storm tracker. More than 20,000 people lost power Friday.


Hurricane Julio, on a path about 700 miles east of Iselle, is also projected to weaken to a tropical storm and blow 150 miles north of the islands Sunday through Tuesday, according to Alex Sosnowski, senior meteorologist for AccuWeather.

“There will be rough seas north and east of the islands,” Sosnowski said. “Surf may remain dangerous for swimmers and inexperienced boarders on the northern and eastern sides of the islands.”

Julio began weakening Friday after gathering speed midweek and gaining Category 3 status with 115-miles-per-hour winds Thursday evening. Julio’s status slipped to Category 2 Friday morning.

julio The worst of Hurricane Julio is expected to blow north of Hawaii this weekend. Photo: Central Pacific Hurricane Center

Had the storms not been downgraded, they would have been the first double hurricanes to hit the islands in more than 20 years.