HONOLULU - Hurricane Flossie strengthened to a Category 4 storm Saturday as it spun more than 1,000 miles south of Hawaii.
The hurricane could pass by Hawaii late Tuesday or early Wednesday, forecasters said, but by then cooler waters should weaken Flossie considerably to a tropical storm.
At 5 p.m. EDT, Flossie had intensified with maximum sustained winds near 135 mph about 1,035 miles southeast of Hilo, Hawaii.
The storm, with gusts of 161 mph, was expected to weaken later in the day as it passed over cooler waters. It was traveling west at about 12 mph.
Jeff Powell, lead forecaster at the National Weather Service in Honolulu, said a "ramp up" of surf on the Big Island was expected late Monday.