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Henriette could become hurricane as Gil weakens to depression

By Craig Gima

LAST UPDATED: 3:27 p.m. HST, Aug 4, 2013

What was Tropical Storm Gil has weakened to a depression as another storm behind it intensified into Tropical Storm Henriette this morning and could become a hurricane in two to three days.

Former Tropical Depression 8-E intensified into Tropical Storm Henriette this morning, with sustained winds of 45 mph. At 11 a.m.  Henriette was about 1,335 miles west-southwest of Baja, California, still far from Hawaii.

The storm is expected to intensify over the next several days into a hurricane with winds of 74 mph or higher. Henriette is moving west at 9 mph and is forecast to take a west-northwest turn on Monday and move into cooler waters, where it should begin to weaken.

Henriette is trailing Tropical Depression Gil, which was 1,280 miles east-southeast of Hilo at 11 a.m.. Gil's sustained winds are now 35 mph, below tropical storm strength of 39 mph or higher.

Gil is moving slowly west-southwest at a slow 8 mph pace.

Wind shear is taking Gil apart faster than some computer models had anticipated and it may be a post-tropical cyclone or a remnant low, a much less severe storm, by Monday.

Forecasters say there's still a chance the storm could pick up a little strength as it moves over warmer waters, but what's left of Gil is likely to pass south of the islands and National Weather Service forecasters in Honolulu say Gil is "unlikely to affect the main Hawaiian islands."

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