Tropical Storm Felicia off the southern tip of Baja California is rapidly intensifying and is soon to become a hurricane, according to the National Hurricane Center.
By 5:00 p.m., Felicia was about 700 miles south-southwest of the southern tip of Baja, with maximum sustained winds of 70 miles per hour, just below the strength of the hurricane. Felicia is moving from west to northwest at a speed of 15 mph, with the movement expected to continue through Thursday. The storm was located less than 2,500 miles southeast of Hilo tonight.
A westward turn is expected by Thursday night, followed by a west or west-southwest movement on Friday and Saturday. At the end of the current five-day forecast, Felicia is still expected to be a Category 1 hurricane as it approaches the Central Pacific early next week.
Tropical gale force winds extend up to 70 miles from central Felicia.
There are no up-to-date coast guards or warnings, but forecasters are keeping an eye on Felicia for the next few days.
Moderate to stormy winds are expected for the Hawaiian Islands for the rest of the week and into the weekend.
Forecasters said it should be mostly cloudy for most of the islands today, with temporary showers for mostly windward and mauka areas with elevations of 84 to 89 degrees.
Trading continues at 15 to 20 mph, but can spike slightly over the weekend as a high pressure area shifts far north of the state.
The surf remains shallow and well below recommended levels on all sides of the islands – 0 to 2 feet for the north and west coasts and 1 to 3 feet for the south coast, today and Thursday.
Surfing along the east coast is expected to increase slightly as trade intensifies, from 2 to 4 feet today to 3 to 5 feet on Thursday.
A new south swell is expected for Friday and until the weekend.