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Two storms churning in Eastern Pacific

July 27, 2017 - 9:56am

KAILUA-KONA — National Hurricane Center forecasters are monitoring three areas of disturbed weather in the Eastern Pacific, including a hurricane and a tropical storm.

As of 11 a.m. Thursday, Tropical Storm Irwin was 2,050 miles east of the Big Island. It maintained 60 mph winds overnight, however, forecasters expect Irwin to weaken as it encounters cooler waters during the next couple of days.

After that, it’s likely to be packing 40 mph winds when it interacts and eventually merges with Hurricane Hilary, which is located closer to Mexico. Current forecast models show Hilary becoming the dominant storm after the merge far east of the Central Pacific, which is where Hawaii is located.

Hurricane Hilary, located about 540 miles off the coast of the southern tip of Baja California, weakened overnight to a Category 1 hurricane, forecasters said. As of Thursday morning, it had 75 mph winds and was traveling west-northwest at 10 mph.

Forecasters say the storm should continue weakening but remain at hurricane strength until the weekend. Thereafter, dropping ocean temperatures should help to tear it apart further. Forecasters expect the storm to be downgraded to a remnant low before it merges with Irwin early next week.

Also being monitored by the National Hurricane Center in Miami is an area of disturbed weather producing shower and thunderstorm activity several hundred miles off the southern Mexico coast. Development is not expected in the next several days because of its close proximity to Hurricane Hilary. They gave it just a 10 percent chance of forming into a tropical cyclone within five days.

In the Central Pacific, an area that spans from 140 degrees west longitude to the International Dateline, no tropical cyclone formation is forecast during the next couple of days.

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