UPDATE: 5 p.m.
Linda intensified into a Category 2 hurricane in the East Pacific Ocean this afternoon. Linda, with winds at 105 mph, was 1,675 miles east-southeast of Hilo at about 5 p.m.. Linda is moving toward the west at 12 mph. A turn toward the west-northwest is expected later tonight and Linda is expected to continue in that motion for the rest of the week.
A slow weakening trend is forecast to begin by the end of Wednesday.
“Linda should be crossing into the Central Pacific in about 48 hours, and is expected to pass by to the north of the Hawaiian islands as a post-tropical gale late in the weekend,” the National Hurricane Center said.
Hurricane Linda far off in the East Pacific is expected to approach the islands from the northeast this weekend as a post-tropical storm with 40 mph maximum sustained winds.
The National Hurricane Center said today Linda had 90 mph maximum sustained winds as of about 11 a.m. and was more than 1,700 miles east-southeast of Hilo, moving west at 10 mph.
“A mid-level ridge is expected to remain anchored to the north of Linda, which should keep the storm on a westward to west-northwestward track during the next several days. … Linda is expected to cross into the Central Pacific basin in 48-60 (hours) and be located to the north or northeast of the Hawaiian islands late this weekend and early next week,” the center’s forecasters said.
A “slow weakening trend is predicted to begin on Wednesday,” they said.
Hurricane-force winds of 74 mph or more extend up to 30 miles from Linda’s center and tropical storm-force winds of 39 mph or more extend up to 90 miles.
Linda is expected to be a tropical storm Thursday when it enters the Central Pacific, still far from Hawaii, and a post-tropical storm with 40 mph winds by Sunday, the end of the current five-day forecast, as it approaches Hawaii from the northeast.
Forecasters warn that a storm’s predicted track and intensity can change, and the public is reminded to stay vigilant and have their emergency kits and plans ready.
The National Weather Service in Honolulu says Linda “will likely” disrupt Hawaii’s tradewinds on Sunday and Monday, “and there will be a chance of heavy showers as the remnants of Hurricane Linda pass near the islands. It remains too early for details regarding Linda. Stay tuned.”