The two major storms hurtling toward Hawaii don't have Radji Tolentino too concerned — yet.
The Realtor on Oahu says there have been a lot of storm warnings in recent years but "nothing really happened." So Tolentino, 44, says he's wary but far from panicking as Hawaii braces for a weather "double whammy" this weekend.
Hurricane Iselle, which has reached levels as high as a category 3 or 4 hurricane, is losing steam but still should hit Hawaii as a tropical storm or low-end hurricane late Thursday or Friday, Weather Channel meteorologist Ari Sarsalari said Tuesday.
"This is a very powerful storm, very well put together," Sarsalari said. He added that that Tropical Storm Julio was poised to roar across the islands along a similar path a couple days later. "So it looks like the double whammy for Hawaii," he said.
The military's Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and the Pacific Missile Range Facility were put on alert. The National Weather Service issued advisories for both storms.
Shelly Kunshige, spokeswoman for the state emergency management agency, said state officials are working with officials on the Big Island to develop evacuation plans in case they are needed in some areas. The island, home to about 185,000 people, is the state's eastern-most, and Iselle is tracking right at it.
"We are taking it day by day," Kunshige said. "We will have to decide if it's necessary to close schools to set up evacuation shelters."
Two big storms so close together in the eastern Pacific are rare but not unexpected with a developing El Niño, a change in ocean temperature that affects global weather, said James Franklin, chief of hurricane specialists at the Weather Service.
Tolentino says he will stock up on bottled water and secure his patio furniture. He said his gas appliances should function if the power goes out — and his father has chickens, so he figures he won't starve.
"Having seen Superstorm Sandy and some other serious storms, we know these storms can be very damaging," Tolentino said. "We will be prepared."