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Tropical Storm Felicia to lash Hawaii

  • Story Highlights
  • Felicia to hit the central islands of Maui County and Oahu, forecaster says
  • Felicia was once a Category 4 hurricane but was downgraded Monday
  • Flash flood watches are in effect for all areas except the Big Island
By Andrew Spencer
CNN
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(CNN) -- Tropical Storm Felicia is expected to cause localized flooding in Hawaii as it hits Tuesday, forecasters said.

"The current forecast track takes it over the central islands of Maui County and Oahu," meteorologist Raymond Tanabe at the Central Pacific Hurricane Center tells CNN Radio.

"The torrential rains we were looking at as a possibility earlier in the week -- we don't expect those anymore."

At the height of the storm, Felicia was a Category 4 hurricane as it sustained maximum winds of 140 mph. But as of late Monday, those winds were down to 40 mph.

Forecasters expect the storm to weaken to a tropical depression -- with maximum sustained winds between 35 mph to 40 mph.

Flash flood watches are in effect for all but the Big Island, and high surf warnings cover much of the eastern shores. "We don't have a lot of harbors that face due east, where we'd have an issue with harbor surges," Tanabe says.

At 11 p.m. local time Monday, the center of the tropical storm was about 160 miles east-northeast of Hilo, Hawaii, and it was moving west at roughly 10 mph.

The National Weather Service expects the storm to continue at that speed for the next few days.

"We expect it to completely pass through the Hawaiian Islands within 48 hours," Tanabe says. Then, all Hawaii will have to worry about is the next storm. iReport.com: Waiting for Felicia

"Historically, August is the most active month in our tropical cyclone season. We still have a long way to go."

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