(Reuters) ― Back-to-back hurricanes churned in the eastern Pacific on Wednesday towards Hawaii, with one set to lose punch when it reaches the U.S. archipelago state even as its mate gains might.
The closest to Hawaii was Hurricane Erick, which swelled from a tropical storm on Monday to a Category 4 hurricane on Tuesday on the Saffir-Simpson wind scale.
But it has since weakened to Category 3 with sustained winds of 125 mph (205 kph), the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami said on Wednesday.
It was about 695 miles from Hawaii’s Big Island.
Erick is expected to continue to lose its might, dwindling back into a tropical storm by the time it makes its closest approach to Hawaii.
This view of Hurricane #Erick southeast of Hawaii, seen by #GOESWest, shows some meso-vortices swirling in the low clouds within the storm’s eye. Maximum sustained wind speed is 125 mph.
View our #hurricane tracker: https://t.co/zfWRITawDU pic.twitter.com/7HeyKu1dQX
— NOAA Satellites (@NOAASatellites) July 31, 2019
It is forecast to skirt south of the Big Island on Friday morning. Meteorologists see a higher chance of gale-force winds from the storm on the Big Island later this week.
Meanwhile, farther east in the Pacific, Hurricane Flossie, a Category 1 with sustained winds of 80 mph, is expected to gradually gain power and speed over the next few days, the NHC said early on Wednesday.
It was about 1,150 miles southwest of the Mexican state of Baja California, an advisory said, and was slowly headed west, getting stronger over the next few days.
The latest forecast shows it approaching the island by 8 p.m. Sunday, a forecaster at the NHC said.
GOES-17 visible imagery of Hurricane #Erick and Hurricane #Flossie developing in the central/eastern Pacific. Notice #Erick has a well defined eye, while #Flossie does not. Stay updated with both hurricanes at https://t.co/TxsYJkoBun and https://t.co/rA2FRQOv93 pic.twitter.com/4ya5T8MRCw
— NWS OPC (@NWSOPC) July 30, 2019
(Reporting by Rich McKay in Atlanta; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)
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