Hurricane Hilda expected to weaken as it nears Hawaii, but high surf, heavy rain is likely

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HONOLULU — Hilda is holding on to its hurricane status with wind speeds around 85 miles per hour, but the cyclone is expected to lose steam and become a tropical storm before it arrives in the Hawaiian Islands.

While Hilda is expected to keep weakening, forecasters at the Central Pacific Hurricane Center issued a tropical storm watch Tuesday for the Big Island. The eye of the storm is predicted to reach the island Thursday.

Dangerously high surf will hit the islands before and during the storm, and heavy rain is expected with the system.

Forecasters say current models show the storm taking a more southerly route, but it's too soon to predict with certainty the exact path the storm will take or which islands will be most affected.

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