comscore Darby now a hurricane, Celia weakens as it heads north of Hawaii
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Darby now a hurricane, Celia weakens as it heads north of Hawaii

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    The VIIRS instrument aboard NASA-NOAA-DOD’s Suomi NPP satellite captured this visible-light image of then-Hurricane Celia, left, and Tropical Storm Darby in the eastern Pacific Ocean on Tuesday.


    This satellite animation shows tropical storms Celila (left) and Darby (center) in the East Pacific today. Another area of thunderstorms east of Darby could develop into a tropical cyclone later this week.


    This graphic shows the projected path and intensity of Tropical Storm Celia over the next five days. The storm is likely to be a post-tropical depression when it passes north of the islands Sunday into Monday.

Darby strengthened into the third hurricane of the East Pacific season as Tropical Storm Celia continued to weaken on a path that could take it north of Hawaii.

At 11 p.m. Hawaii time, Darby had sustained winds of 80 mph and was expected to continue to strengthen as it moves west at 12 mph. The storm was about 615 miles southwest of Baja California.

Darby could send some surf to east shores of the Hawaiian islands next week. But it’s too early to say how or if it will affect the weather here.

Meanwhile, Celia is losing strength as it moves over cooler waters. At 11 p.m., Celia’s winds were down to 50 mph as the storm moved west-northwest at 13 mph. Celia was about 1,250 miles east of Hilo.

Celia should cross into the Central Pacific Thursday night as a post-tropical depression and is expected to pass north of Hawaii Sunday into Monday. What’s left of the storm could bring a greater chance of rain to Hawaii. Surf, generated when Celia was a hurricane, is expected to bring advisory-level surf to east shores this weekend.

Moisture from the former Hurricane Blas — now no longer a tropical cyclone — may bring an increase in showers to the islands Thursday night and Friday as the storm passes near Hawaii.

Forecasters are also watching another area of storm activity east of Darby that could also develop into a tropical cyclone later in the week. If it reaches tropical storm strength, it will be named Estelle.

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