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New tropical cyclone forms as Hurricane Blas weakens

  • NOAA / GOES WEST

    This satellite animation shows Hurricane Blas and newly developed Tropical Depression 4E west of the hurricane this morning. Remnants of former Tropical Storm Agatha are to the northeast of Blas.

  • NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER

    This graphic shows the projected five-day path and intensity of what is now Hurricane Blas.

  • NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER

    This graphic shows the projected five-day path and intensity of what is now Tropical Depression 4E.

A new tropical cyclone developed in the East Pacific as Hurricane Blas continued to weaken this morning.

Tropical Depression 4E formed Wednesday night and could become the third named storm of the East Pacific hurricane season by Friday. Its maximum sustained winds were about 35 mph this morning. The storm was about 735 miles south of Baja California, moving west at 8 mph.

The system is expected to become a tropical storm Friday. When it reaches tropical storm strength of 39 mph, it will be named Celia.

Forecasters said the storm is following a similar path to Hurricane Blas and its development has been slowed by cooler waters in the wake of Blas.

At 11 a.m., Blas was hanging on as a major category 3 hurricane, but its maximum sustained winds had decreased to 115 mph, down from 125 mph Wednesday and 140 mph Tuesday night.

Satellite photos show its once clearly-defined eye is being filled in by clouds.

The storm was about 1,240 miles west-southwest of Baja California, roughly 2,000 miles from Hawaii, moving west-northwest at 10 mph.

Waves generated by Blas are expected to reach Hawaii Friday and could reach advisory level heights of 8 feet this weekend.

Blas should gradually weaken as it moves over cooler waters. It’s expected to be a tropical storm by Friday and a tropical depression when it crosses into the Central Pacific Monday.

The storm could weaken the tradewinds and bring an increased chance of rain to Hawaii sometime next week if it continues on its current path.

Meanwhile, remnants of former Tropical Storm Agatha, about 1,000 miles east of Maui, appear to be on a path to affect the tradewinds this weekend.

Winds are expected to lighten Sunday into early next week as Agatha moves near Hawaii. What’s now an area of clouds and moisture could also bring an increase in windward showers Saturday into Sunday.

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