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Gil upgraded to hurricane, continues moving west in Eastern Pacific

By Star-Advertiser staff

POSTED: 11:02 a.m. HST, Jul 30, 2013

Gil was upgraded to a category 1 hurricane from a tropical storm today after its maximum sustained winds reached 75 mph, according to the National Weather Service.

The storm is about 935 miles south-southwest of Baja and is headed west-northwest at 12 mph on a trajectory that could bring it into the Central Pacific next week.

As 11 a.m. today, the storm had hurricane force winds, of 75 mph or stronger, extending out about 25 miles from the center, and tropical storm force winds extended 60 miles from the center.

The latest five-day track has it weakening back to a tropical storm and then to a tropical depression by early next week as it approaches the Central Pacific.

The earliest Gil could enter the Central Pacific would be Monday or Tuesday, Tom Brichard, a senior forecaster at the Central Pacific Hurricane Center, said Tuesday. But he stressed it is too early to predict any possible effects for Hawaii.

Because the storm is still in the Eastern Pacific, it is being tracked by the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

Behind Gil, another storm system is forming and has a 50 percent chance of strengthening into a tropical cyclone over the next 48 hours, according to the National Hurricane Center. It is moving west at 10 to 15 mph and is about 750 miles south of the tip of Baja.

The two storms come on the heels of the former Tropical Storm Flossie which gave the islands a glancing blow Monday. The storm brought heavy rain and thunderstorms, mainly to Hawaii island and Maui County, as it skirted past the island chain and gradually weakened to a tropical depression, then a post-tropical remnant low on Tuesday.

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