Hurricanes Erick, Tropical Storm Flossie weaken as they approach Hawaii

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Hawaii is keeping a wary eye on two storms churning in the central and eastern Pacific.

The stronger one, Erick, has weakened as it passes south of the islands, while the second storm, Flossie, was downgraded to a tropical storm by Thursday afternoon.

Erick, downgraded from a Category 4 hurricane to a Category 3 yesterday, is now classified as a Category 1 hurricane. It was packing winds of 80 mph as it approached the state from the east, bringing wet conditions into the weekend. The center of the storm was expected to pass just south of the Big Island on Friday.

Hawaii started seeing some of the effects of Erick yesterday, with a high-surf warning in effect until 6 p.m. and surf up 15 to 20 feet. The island can expect high surf, strong winds and heavy rain, but the impact will depend on the intensity as Erick approaches, according to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center. Forecasters warn of potentially dangerous surf conditions, mainly along east facing shores.

Despite the center saying Erick was already losing strength Wednesday and expectations to weaken gradually into a tropical storm before sliding south of Hawaii on Thursday and Friday, it is still classified as a hurricane.

As of 11 a.m. HST, Erick was about 480 miles east southeast of Honolulu, moving west at 14 mph. 

Flossie was 1,460 miles east of Hilo, Hawaii, moving west-northwest at 18 mph with sustained winds near 65 mph. The center says Flossie is expected to weaken over the next two to three days.

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