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Fernanda expected to dissipate by Monday


    Tropical Storm Fernanda’s forecast cone.


    This enhanced satellite image shows Fernanda east of Hawaii, as well as other storm systems in the Eastern Pacific.

Update 7 p.m

Fernanda continues to dissipate, slowly moving west-northwest. Fernanda was located about 461 miles east of Hilo.

Update 11:25 a.m

Fernanda downgraded to a post-tropical remnant and is expected to dissipate by Monday, said weather officials.

At 11 a.m. Fernanda was located about 500 miles east of the Big Island, traveling west-northwest at 9 mph with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph. Fernanda is expected to maintain its current direction and speed until it dissipates.

There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.

Update 7:40 a.m.

Fernanda remained a minimal tropical storm well east of Hawaii, according to weather officials.

At 5 a.m. this morning, Fernanda was located about 570 miles east of the Big Island traveling west at 9 mph with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph with higher gusts.

Tropical storm force winds extended outward up to 45 miles from the center.

Forecasters expect Fernanda to increase in speed over the next couple of days.

There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.

Previous coverage

Fernanda, once a powerful Category 4 hurricane in the Eastern Pacific, slipped to a tropical depression Friday, as it continues to fall apart hundreds of miles east of Hilo.

At 11 p.m., Fernanda was about 635 miles east of Hilo and 825 miles east Honolulu, packing maximum sustained winds of 40 mph, according to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center on Oahu. Fernanda is moving west-northwest at 8 mph.

Fernanda is expected to become a post-tropical low Saturday and dissipate by Monday before reaching the islands, weather officials said.

“Large swells generated by Fernanda will continue to build through the weekend along east facing shores of the main Hawaiian islands,” according to forecasters at the National Weather Service. “The resultant surf will be large and potentially dangerous.”

A high surf advisory is in effect for eastern shores of all the major Hawaiian islands except Lanai and Niihau until noon Monday, with waves of 5-to-9-feet expected. Forecasters said beach-goers should be alert for choppy surf, powerful rip currents and strong shore breaks that will make swimming dangerous.

The high surf is also coinciding with this summer’s last episode of so-called king tides that could lead to coastal flooding in today through Monday. “The greatest potential for coastal flooding impacts will be during the mid- to late-afternoon hours through Monday, when the highest tides are expected,” National Weather Service forecasters in Honolulu said. King tides are a combination of higher-that-usual high tides and higher sea level.

The storm peaked as a Category 4 hurricane in the Eastern Pacific last weekend, but has been fading as it moves over cooler waters and faces wind shear.

While Fernanda is dissipating far from the islands, the storm system still may cut off trade winds over the weekend.

“The remnants of Fernanda will bring lighter winds and uncomfortable humidity, along with a chance for heavy showers for some areas later Sunday into Monday,” forecasters said. “More settled conditions and lower humidity are expected by the middle of next week as trade winds return.”

Farther from Hawaii, in the East Pacific, two tropical cyclones are churning away. Tropical Storm Greg had maximum sustained winds of 50 mph by 5 p.m. today, and is expected to strengthen as it moves west over the weekend. But, by the time it is nearing the Central Pacific by midweek, it is expected to weaken to a post-tropical low with winds of 30 mph.

Closer to Central America, Tropical Depression Nine-E has formed and is expected to be a Category 2 hurricane by midweek as it moves northwest, parallel to the Mexican coast.

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