Hurricane Barbara strengthens far from the islands

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HONOLULU- (KHON2) Hurricane Barbara is now a CAT 2 hurricane with winds at 100 mph. More strengthening is expect over the next 36 hours.

By Thursday gradual weakening is forecast to occur. Barbara may enter the Central Pacific as a tropical storm on Saturday.

Maximum Winds: 100 mph

Movement: West at 15 mph

The center of Hurricane Barbara was located near latitude 11.7 North, longitude 119.8 West. Barbara is moving toward the west near 15 mph (24 km/h).

A turn toward the west-northwest is expected Tuesday morning, and this general motion along with a decrease in forward speed is forecast to persist through Wednesday.

Maximum sustained winds have increased to 100 mph (155 km/h) with higher gusts.

Rapid strengthening is forecast to continue for the next day or so, and Barbara is expected to become a major hurricane by Tuesday night.

A weakening trend is forecast to begin Wednesday night or on Thursday.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles (35 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 160 miles (260 km).

The estimated minimum central pressure is 979 mb (28.91 inches).

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