Hawaii in line for hurricane 1-2 punch

This image provided by NOAA taken Thursday Aug. 7, 2014 at 2 a.m. EDT shows Hurricane Iselle, left and Hurricane Julio. Iselle was supposed to weaken as it slowly trudged west across the Pacific. It didn't _ and now Hawaii is poised to take its first direct hurricane hit in 22 years. The center of Hurricane Iselle is expected to pass very near or over the Big Island Thursday night and just south of the smaller islands Friday. Some weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours however Iselle is still expected to be near hurricane strength as it impacts the Big Island. (AP Photo/NOAA)
This image provided by NOAA taken Thursday Aug. 7, 2014 at 2 a.m. EDT shows Hurricane Iselle, left and Hurricane Julio. Iselle was supposed to weaken as it slowly trudged west across the Pacific. It didn't _ and now Hawaii is poised to take its first direct hurricane hit in 22 years. The center of Hurricane Iselle is expected to pass very near or over the Big Island Thursday night and just south of the smaller islands Friday. Some weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours however Iselle is still expected to be near hurricane strength as it impacts the Big Island. (AP Photo/NOAA)

HONOLULU (AP) — Hurricane Julio strengthened into a Category 2 storm as it spun toward Hawaii, with winds gusting at a sustained speed of 100 mph.

The National Hurricane Center said it expected the storm to strengthen even more Thursday before gradually weakening by Thursday night. That weakening is expected to continue into the weekend.

Julio is close behind Hurricane Iselle, which was set to make landfall on Hawaii’s Big Island Thursday night.

The Big Island is under a hurricane warning, while much of the rest of the chain was under a tropical storm warning.

The storm could push damaging swells ashore and lead to coastal flooding.

The National Weather Service in Honolulu warned Thursday that gusts up to 55 mph could lash the islands, damaging homes.

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