Hurricane heads toward Hawaii as tropical storm churns in Pacific

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A Category 1 hurricane was heading toward Hawaii early Tuesday morning, the Central Pacific Hurricane Center in Honolulu said. Hurricane Erick was expected to gain strength and could become a major hurricane later in the week, the center said.

As of late Monday night, Erick had maximum sustained winds of about 80 mph and was about 1,015 miles east-southeast of Hilo, Hawaii, on the Big Island. The storm was expected to gain strength through Wednesday and could possibly reach Category 3 strength with maximum sustained winds of at least 111 mph.

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Erick was expected to start weakening late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning, the center said. The storm was expected to pass by Hawaii to the south starting overnight Thursday.

A map made by the Central Pacific Hurricane Center shows the projected path of Hurricane Erick as of 5 a.m. ET on July 30, 2019. Central Pacific Hurricane Center

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Flossie was churning in the Pacific to the east of Erick and was expected to become a hurricane later Tuesday, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said. The storm had maximum sustained winds of about 65 mph and was located about 965 miles southwest of the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California late Monday night.

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Flossie was expected to strengthen Tuesday and Wednesday and could also possibly become a Category 3 storm followed by a weakening trend, the hurricane center said.

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