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Fernanda to grow into major hurricane as it heads toward Central Pacific

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Tropical Storm Fernanda in the Eastern Pacific is expected to grow into a major hurricane over the next several days as it heads toward the Central Pacific, forecasters said Wednesday.

Although it’s too far away to tell how Fernanda will affect the Hawaiian islands, “it’s heading in our general vicinity, and serves as a reminder that we are indeed in the hurricane season,” said Derek Wroe, lead forecaster at the National Weather Service in Honolulu.

“We urge everyone to prepare for the hurricane,” he said. “There is ample time for people to review a plan. If you don’t have a plan, we urge people to have that done.”

As of 5 a.m. today, the storm was about 2,715 miles east-southeast of the Big Island, and nearly a week away.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami said at 5 a.m. (Hawaii time) that the storm was about 845 miles south-southwest of the southern tip of Baja California, moving west at 12 mph with maximum sustained winds of 65 mph. Tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles from Fernanda’s center.

The storm posed no threat to land as it moved away from Central America.

Fernanda is expected to grow into a hurricane by Friday morning and into a Category 3 hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of 115 mph, by early next week when it will be approaching the Central Pacific, forecasters said.

The storm is too far from the Hawaiian islands to predict whether it will have any effect on the state’s weather.

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