Hawaiians urged to be on alert for Tropical Storm Kilo

Story highlights

  • Tropical Storm Kilo is churning about 500 miles from Hawaii
  • It's expected to turn toward the islands and gradually strengthen

(CNN)Hawaii could soon be hosting a hurricane, though there's still a lot that can happen with Tropical Storm Kilo.

Kilo was far away from land Friday, situated about 480 miles south-southeast of Hilo and 650 miles from Honolulu. And its sustained winds, at that point, were 40 mph.
Still, the real danger is what comes next.
    The Central Pacific Hurricane Center forecasts that Kilo will gradually strengthen as it churns over warm waters, with a prediction of 100 mph winds -- which would make it a Category 2 hurricane -- in five days.
    By that point, Kilo should already be affecting Hawaii, especially the northern island of Kauai.
    "Given this forecast track," the hurricane center said, "interests in the Hawaiian islands should monitor the progress of Kilo through the weekend and into early next week."
    As of 11 a.m. (5 p.m. ET) Friday, the storm was heading west-northwest at about a 16 mph clip. But it's direction is expected to shift gradually, to the north or northeast (and thus toward Hawaii), by the time it's done.