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Blanca becomes hurricane; Andres sending surf to Hawaii

    This infrared-light image from NOAA's GOES-West satellite shows Hurricane Andres weakening Tuesday and Tropical Storm Blanca to the southwest. (NASA/ NOAA GOES PROJECT)
    This NOAA graphic shows the projected path of what is now Hurricane Andres over the next five days.
    This NOAA graphic shows the projected path of what is now Tropical Storm Blanco Monday morning.

Tropical Storm Blanca intensified to hurricane strength and could threaten Mexico and the southwestern United States this weekend.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Andres continued to weaken. The former category 4 system was reduced to a category 2 hurricane Tuesday morning and was expected to weaken further into a tropical storm, then a remnant low in the next 72 hours.

Waves generated Andres could bring moderate surf to east shores of Hawaii Wednesday through the weekend.

A high surf advisory for the south-facing shores of all islands is in effect through 6 a.m. Wednesday. Forecasters at the National Weather Service say surf up to 5 to 8 feet could roll in.

Waves generated by both Andres and Blanco are bringing life-threatening surf and rip currents to Baja California for the next few days.

Blanco could also make landfall in Mexico as a category 3 hurricane Sunday or Monday.

Blanco was about 410 miles south of Manzanillo, Mexico with maxiumu sustained winds of 75 mph, late Monday morning. The storm was stationary, but is forecast to intensify quickly and move northwest to north-northwest in the next two days.

Blanca marks the earliest formation of the second hurricane in the eastern North Pacific basin since reliable records began in 1971, the National Hurricane Center said.

The first hurricane of the season, Andres. was about 960 miles west-southwest of Baja California Monday with winds of 85 mph late Tuesday morninbg. The storm is expected to weaken rapidly in cooler waters and was moving northwest at 10 mph. The storm is expected to take an east-northeast turn as it falls apart.

Dan Kottlowski, expert senior meteorologist at AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania, said as Blanca comes apart, there is a chance some of its moisture could end up in the U.S. Southwest.

Last year, the remains of three Pacific storms brought flooding rains across the southwestern U.S.

“If I were in Texas, I would be keeping a very close eye on the eastern Pacific,” Kottlowski said. 

Texas has come through a spring of flooding rains that has turned a state once parched by drought into one that has seen people drowned and property washed away in the past few weeks.

Bloomberg News contributed to this story.

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