Tropical Storm Flossie approaches isles
Scientists say that the system will weaken after tomorrow
Forecasters watched yesterday as strong high-level winds kept Tropical Storm Flossie from becoming a hurricane.
"We thought for a while that the eye was going to pop out," said Jonathan Hoag, a forecaster at the Central Pacific Hurricane Center.
Flossie moved in a westerly direction at 15 mph and was less than 1,500 miles east-southeast of Hilo at about 4:30 p.m. yesterday. It packed 63 mph winds. Tropical storms have winds between 39 and 73 mph.
Last night, forecasters expected Flossie to strengthen to 69 mph winds until tomorrow and then weaken.
"It's still a strong system" and could regain strength, Hoag said.
Flossie is expected to pass 170 miles south of the Big Island with 46 mph winds on Tuesday. Forecasters said Flossie could bring more rain and wind to the Big Island, and warned residents to be prepared for a hurricane.