The fourth storm of the season formed around 11am today about 1,000 miles west of the Azores, but it poses little threat to anything but fish.
However, only a small deviation to the north of the forecast track could bring tropical storm force winds to the Big Island later tonight or on Wednesday. The hurricane center said in its 5 p.m. update the "far northern fringes of the hurricane will brush the Big Island on Wednesday". Some local flash flooding is possible in a few spots, particularly along east-, south- or southeastward-facing slopes of the Big Island.
The storm will continue moving west after it passes by Hawaii. "If it does, it will become Typhoon Hector". It was no longer expected to grow into a major hurricane. The National Hurricane Center said it was likely to peak as a Category 3 hurricane before starting to weaken and turn out to sea as it passes west of the Baja California Peninsula late in the week. It will not affect any land areas.
The tropical Atlantic remains cooler than normal and there is a relatively high potential that a weak El Niño develops in the next several months.
Farther out in the Pacific was recently formed Tropical Storm Kristy, which had sustained winds of 50 miles per hour (85 kph) and could become a hurricane.
Hurricane season runs through November 30.
Debby transitioned to a tropical storm Wednesday morning with a greater concentration of storms near its center.
According to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center, the center of the storm was located about 470 miles east-southeast of Hilo, or about 665 miles east-southeast of Honolulu.