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Marie & Karina weaken; Lowell's remnants to block tradewinds

By Star- Advertiser staff & Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 12:05 p.m. HST, Aug 26, 2014

Hurricane Marie weakened to a Category 2 storm early Tuesday but continued kicking up high swells along Mexico's northern Pacific coast and threatened to raise dangerous waves along the Southern California coast.

Meanwhile Karina is no longer a named storm in the Eastern Pacific and will likely be absorbed into Marie as its remnants are pulled into the stronger storm.

What's left of former Hurricane Lowell will move northeast of Hawaii and is expected to block some of the cooling tradewinds later this week.

Waves generated by Lowell last week are bringing a moderate swell to east shores of Hawaii. That swell will be reinforced by bigger waves from Marie later in the week. The National Weather Service expects to issue a high surf advisory for east shores on Thursday. South shores may also be under a high surf advisory Thursday because of waves from a storm in the South Pacific.

The U.S. Hurricane Center in Miami said Marie's maximum sustained winds decreased to 100 mph overnight. Marie had been a category 5 hurricane. Additional weakening was forecast and the storm was expected to lose hurricane status in the next day or so.

Marie was centered about 675 miles west of the southern tip of Baja California and was moving west-northwest near 15 mph at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

Hurricane-force winds extended up to 60 miles away from the storm's center, with tropical storm-force winds reaching out to 275 miles.

The National Weather Service said a large southerly swell is moving into Southern California coastal waters Tuesday, and is expected to produce waves as tall as 15 feet, strong rip currents and strong longshore currents through Thursday.

Forecasters say minor coastal flooding and beach erosion is possible.

The city of Long Beach says it's expecting a storm surge above predicted astronomical tides, and crews are fortifying sand berms.

The city is also making sandbags available to residents of its peninsula area.

Swells provoked by the storm were also affecting much of Mexico's Pacific coast and the Hurricane Center was warning of dangerous surf and rip current conditions.

The southern Pacific coast state of Oaxaca requested federal disaster relief after about 10,000 homes were either damaged, flooded or cut off by mudslides on the state's mountainous rural roads due to rains associated with Marie last week. One man was injured in a mudslide but there were no reported deaths, the state government said late Sunday.

The government of Baja California Sur, closer to the hurricane's current location, said it would cancel some classes in the resort cities of Los Cabos as a precautionary measure.

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