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Felicia strengthens into a hurricane in East Pacific

  • COURTESY NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER
                                Felicia strengthened into a hurricane tonight in the Eastern Pacific.

    COURTESY NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER

    Felicia strengthened into a hurricane tonight in the Eastern Pacific.

Update, 11 p.m.

Tropical Storm Felicia strengthened into a hurricane tonight with winds at 85 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The category 1 hurricane was located 730 miles southwest of the southern tip of Baja California and moving toward the west near 12 mph. A gradual turn to the west-southwest is expected by Friday and this motion is expected to continue over the next 48 hours.

Felicia is expected to intensify over the next day or so.

Previous coverage

Tropical Storm Felicia off of the southern tip of Baja California is strengthening quickly and forecast to soon become a hurricane, according to the National Hurricane Center.

At about 5 p.m., Felicia was about 700 miles south-southwest of the southern tip of Baja, with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph, just below hurricane strength. Felicia is moving west-northwest at 15 mph, with the motion expected to continue through Thursday. The storm was located less than 2,500 miles south-southeast of Hilo as of this evening.

A turn toward the west is expected by Thursday night, followed by a west or west-southwest motion on Friday and Saturday. By the end of the current five-day forecast, Felicia is expected to still be a Category 1 hurricane as it nears the Central Pacific early next week.

Tropical storm-force winds extend up to 70 miles from the center of Felicia.

There are no current coastal watches or warnings in effect, but forecasters are keeping an eye on Felicia for the next few days.

Moderate to breezy winds, meanwhile, are expected for the Hawaiian islands through the remainder of the week and into the weekend.

Forecasters said there should be mostly cloudy skies for most islands today, with passing showers for mainly windward and mauka areas, with highs from 84 to 89 degrees.

Trades will continue at 15 to 20 mph but may bump up slightly over the weekend as an area of high pressure far to the north of the state shifts.

Surf remains flat and well below advisory levels for all sides of the islands — at 0 to 2 feet for north and west shores, and 1 to 3 feet for south shores, today and Thursday.

Surf along east shores are expected to bump up slightly as trades strengthen, from 2 to 4 feet today to 3 to 5 feet Thursday.

A new south swell is expected for Friday and through the weekend.

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