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Tropical Storm Karina strengthens

August 20, 2014 - 11:23am

Tropical Storm Karina strengthened some early Wednesday morning as it makes its way across the Eastern Pacific some 1,240 miles east of the Big Island, National Hrricane Center forecasters in Miami said.

At 11 a.m. Wednesday, Karina was packing maximum sustained winds of 65 mph with higher gusts and nearly stationary, forecasters said.

Karina is expected to see some fluctuation in strength during the coming 48 hours, forecasters said. Tropical storm-force winds currently extend outward up to 70 miles.

National Hurricane Center officials in May predicted 14 to 20 named storms and seven to 11 hurricanes — including three to six major hurricanes — to form this year in the Eastern Pacific Basin. Overall, they gave the 2014 season a 50 percent chance of being above normal, 40 percent chance of being near-normal and a 10 percent chance of being below normal.

The Eastern Pacific averages 15 named storms, eight hurricanes and four major hurricanes each year, according to the center.

The Eastern Pacific hurricane season began May 15 and ends Nov. 30.

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