Hurricane Norman on course to pass Hawaii to northeast

HONOLULU — One hurricane is on course to bypass Hawaii to the northeast, while another appears set to weaken before it gets closer to the island state.

The National Weather Service said Thursday Hurricane Norman’s center will likely pass 200 to 300 miles to the northeast of the main Hawaiian Islands. Meteorologists are warning of high surf, but they don’t expect the storm to directly affect the state.

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Norman was packing maximum sustained winds near 110 mph, making it a Category 2 hurricane. Wind shear and cooler ocean temperatures are expected to weaken it over the next few days.

A high surf warning is in effect for east-facing shores of the Big Island until 6 a.m. Friday. Wave heights of 12-18 feet are forecast today.

On Thursday morning, Hawaii County Civil Defense reported that all county beach parks on the north and east side of the island, from South Point to Upolu Point, were closed. All permits and reservations for these parks have been canceled.

Civil Defense also noted that boat owners in the Hilo area should take measures to secure their vessels until the danger passes. Oceanfront residents are urged to be on alert for high and dangerous surf conditions through Friday.

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All schools and roads are open at this time. For the most up to date closure information, visit http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/2018-hurricane-map.

Meanwhile, Olivia is currently a Category 3 hurricane 1,200 miles southwest of Mexico’s Baja California. It’s forecast to weaken to a tropical storm before it nears Hawaii early next week.