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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Tropical storm intensifies, may pass near Northern Islands

Another tropical storm formed near Enewetak Atoll in the Marshall Islands yesterday and is forecast to pass near the Northern Islands either on Wednesday or Thursday.

As of 7pm Monday, the center of Tropical Storm Lekima was 180 miles west-northwest of Enewetak Atoll, 420 miles north-northwest of Pohnpei, 550 miles north-northwest of Kosrae, 590 miles west-northwest of Kwajalein, and 1,035 miles east of Guam.

From maximum sustained winds of 45 miles per hour at 1pm, Lekima intensified and increased its sustained winds to 50mph as of 7pm last night, according to the National Weather Service in Guam.

Moving northwest at 8 mph, Lekima is expected to turn toward the west-northwest while increasing forward speed through last night. The storm is expected to continue intensifying during the next couple of days, with its force winds extending outward up to 105 miles from the center.

The CNMI Homeland Security and Emergency Management said that a high surf advisory remains in effect until 6pm Wednesday as hazardous surf of 9 to 11 feet is expected along west and north facing reefs last night.

Gov. Eloy Inos advised the public to avoid venturing near exposed reefs and beaches, especially those along north and west facing reefs, as rip currents will be life threatening.

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