TS Madeline targets Hawaii as Hurricane Lester tears across Pacific

WASHINGTON, USA – Tropical Storm Madeline picked up speed as it headed towards Hawaii on Sunday, August 28, while Hurricane Lester tore west from the Mexican mainland across the Pacific, US monitors reported.

The center of Lester, a Category 2 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 100 miles (155 kilometers) per hour, was located 865 miles west-southwest of the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) reported.

The hurricane was moving towards the west and away from the Mexican mainland at a speed of nearly 14 miles per hour, the Miami-based NHC said in its 0900 GMT bulletin.

Lester's hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles from the center, and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 105 miles.

Despite its strength and size there was no coastal warning because the hurricane's direction.

While the NHC said that Lester was likely to weaken in the next days, Tropical Storm Madeline is expected to strengthen and become a hurricane by Monday, August 29, according to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center.

Madeline's center was located about 985 miles east-southeast of Hilo, Hawaii, the Honolulu, Hawaii-based CPHC said at 0900 GMT.

The storm had maximum sustained winds of 60 miles per hour, and was moving towards the northwest at 8 miles per hour.

While there are currently no coastal watches or warnings in effect, "interests in the Hawaiian Islands should monitor the progress of Madeline," the CPHC said.

On its current forecast trajectory the center of Madeline will reach the Hawaii archipelago late Wednesday, August 31, though the storm's outer bands will likely hit the islands earlier.

The CPHC cautioned however that "it is too early to determine what impacts Madeline could have on the Hawaiian Islands late in the forecast period." – Rappler.com