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Hurricane watch issued for Hawaii; Douglas could be 1st direct hit to Hawaii since 1992

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Posted at 3:17 PM, Jul 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-24 17:17:06-04

Parts of Hawaii are under a hurricane watch as Category 3 Hurricane Douglas has its sights set on the island state. The hurricane watch is in effect for the Big Island and Maui County.

Packing top winds of 115 MPH as of 11 a.m. HT (5 p.m. ET), Douglas is moving toward Hawaii at 18 MPH. The storm was positioned 785 miles from Hilo, or 985 miles from Honolulu.

Douglas is relatively small, with hurricane-force winds only extending 25 miles from the center.

While the powerful hurricane is in the open ocean, it has been slowly losing strength. The National Hurricane Center projects it will weaken into a tropical storm by Sunday night. But the storm could still be a hurricane when it crosses the island chain, which would make it the first hurricane to directly hit the island in more than two decades.

Category 4 Iniki of 1992. was the most recent hurricane to strike Hawaii directly. Before that, just two other hurricanes have directly hit the islands since the late 1800s.

Meanwhile, parts of the Texas coast is under a tropical storm warning ahead of Hanna, which is expected to come ashore tomorrow.