Tropical Storm Miriam expected to reach hurricane strength Tuesday

KAILUA-KONA — Forecasters are keeping an eye on Tropical Storm Miriam, which is expected to be upgraded to a hurricane in the next couple of days as it tracks west about 1,500 miles east of Hawaii.

As of 5 p.m. Monday, Miriam was spinning 65 mph winds as the cyclone tracked west at 12 mph some 1,540 miles east-southeast of Hilo, forecasters with the Central Pacific Hurricane Center said.

Strengthening is forecast during the next two to three days, and Miriam is expected to become a hurricane on Tuesday. However, by the end of the week, wind shear and cooler sea surface temperatures should have a weakening effect on the storm.

On the forecast track, Miriam will approach the Central Pacific basin late Wednesday or early Thursday. The basin, which is where Hawaii is located, spans an area north of the equator from 140 degrees west longitude to the International Date Line.

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