World

Fernanda strengthens to a Cat. 3 hurricane

Fernanda strengthens to a Cat. 3 hurricane

Hurricane Fernanda strengthened into a powerful, Category 3 hurricane well off Mexico's west coast on Friday but did not pose any immediate threat to land as it headed farther out into the Pacific.

The disturbance was upgraded to Tropical Storm status Wednesday morning as maximum sustained winds increased near 40 miles per hour with higher gusts.

The system is not now a threat to the Hawaiian Islands, however, a long period east swell from Fernanda is forecast to arrive by Tuesday or Wednesday.

At 5 a.m., Hurricane Fernanda was located over 2,000 miles east southeast of Hilo moving west at approximately 12 mph.




The National Hurricane Center expects significant strengthening Friday into Saturday. But early computer models show a track toward the islands, and forecasters say now is the time to prepare.

Closer to Mexico, a broad area of low pressure has formed several hundred miles south-southwest of the Gulf of Tehuantepec.

The official track takes the center west-northwest with a gradual increase in strength and Fernanda is expected to become a major hurricane over the weekend. It's expected to continue in this direction for the next few days.


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