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Hurricane Gil strengthens slightly

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 7:37 p.m. HST, Aug 1, 2013

Hurricane Gil strengthened today and is now expected to be a tropical storm when it crosses into the Central Pacific next week.

At 5 p.m., Gil had sustained winds of 85 mph and was located about 1,230 miles west southwest of Baja, California. Earlier in the day, Gil had 80 mph sustained winds.

Hurricane force winds extend 25 miles from the center and tropical storm force winds extend 60 miles from the eye of the storm.

The storm could become stronger over the next 36 hours while it moves over warmer ocean waters, but should then begin to weaken as it approaches cooler waters.

The five-day forecast now calls for Gil to weaken to a tropical storm Sunday and remain at tropical storm strength through Tuesday after it crosses into the Central Pacific.

The storm is still too far away to say if it will have an affect on Hawaii’s weather.

Behind Gil, another storm system could develop into a tropical cyclone over the next 48 hours, according to the National Hurricane Center. However, forecasters say its proximity to Hurricane Gil is disrupting its development. Forecasters say it has a medium chance, about 40 percent of becoming a tropical cyclone over the next 48 hours and a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone over the next five days.

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