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Marie strengthens to major hurricane status

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    This composite satellite image shows Hurricane Marie off the coast of Mexico, with the remnants of former Tropical Storm Lowell to the northwest and Tropical Storm Karina to Lowell's southwest.

Hurricane Marie is now a major Category 5 storm in the Eastern Pacific that is sending big waves to California and Mexico, and could bring moderate surf to Hawaii. 

Meanwhile, Karina weakened to a tropical storm and Lowell’s winds remained below tropical storm strength.

Lowell’s remnants may move northeast of Hawaii by Thursday and weaken the tradewinds, possibly through the weekend, forecasters said. 

Marie on Sunday was packing sustained winds of 150 mph. The storm is expected to remain a major hurricane until Tuesday, and will weaken as it moves into cooler waters and interacts with the remnants of Lowell and Karina.

Marie was 3,167 miles east-southeast of Hilo at 5 p.m. Sunday, moving west-northwest at 12 mph.

It is not expected to move over land, but the large swells generated by the hurricane will bring dangerous surf and rip currents to shore for the next few days, forecasters said.

Swells generated by Marie and the other tropical cyclones in the Eastern Pacific should bring moderate surf to east-facing shores of Hawaii starting Sunday night through Tuesday, foresters said.

The East Pacific storm surf is in addition to a south swell, which is expected to be reinforced by waves from another storm in the South Pacific later in the week.

Tropical Storm Karina was 1,310 miles west of Baja California at 5 p.m. Sunday, moving east at 9 mph. The storm’s sustained winds decreased to 45 mph. It is expected to weaken into a tropical depression by Tuesday and will be absorbed into Hurricane Marie as that storm approaches it.

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