Fernanda weakens to Category 2 hurricane

 staradvertiser.com  7/18/2017 3:27:17 AM   Star-Advertiser staff Posted July

  • COURTESY NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE

    Hurricane Fernanda’s 5-day forecast cone.

Update 5 p.m.

Hurricane Fernanda has weakened to a Category 2 hurricane, and is on track to weaken below tropical storm status by the time it nears Hawaii next week.

Fernanda is moving toward the northwest at 9 mph with maximum sustained winds near 110 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center. Fernanda, which had winds near 125 mph earlier today, is centered 1,547 miles east of Hilo.

Fernanda is expected to gradually weaken during the next couple of days. By the end of the current five-day forecast, it will be a post-tropical low with winds of about 30 mph, still several hundred miles east of the Big Island.

It is still to early to know if it will affect Hawaii’s weather next week.

Update 11 a.m.

Hurricane Fernanda is still a major hurricane today although weather forecasters expect the storm to begin weakening tonight.

At 11 a.m., Fernanda was still packing maximum sustained winds near 125 mph. The Category 3 storm was centered about 1,600 miles east of Hilo and traveling west-northwest at 9 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles from the storm’s center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles, the NHC said.

“A weakening trend is likely to begin tonight,” forecasters said in an advisory.

The latest 5-day forecast model for Fernanda shows it as a tropical storm on Thursday when it enters the Central Pacific. The storm is expected to weaken to a post-tropical remnant low by Saturday morning, when it’s projected to be hundreds of miles east of Hawaii island.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami is also tracking two other storm systems farther out in the Eastern Pacific.

A tropical disturbance about 750 miles southwest of the southern tip of Baja California has a 60 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression in the next few days as it moves west toward the Central Pacific, forecasters said today. Tropical Depression Seven-E has also formed and was about 360 miles south-southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico, with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph this morning. It is expected to grow to a tropical storm in the next few days, but weaken to a post-tropical low by the end of the week as it moves west.

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