Tropical Depression to Pass Near Hawaii

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 26, 2005

HONOLULU – A tropical depression was forecast to bring heavy rains, blustery winds and waves as high as 8 feet as it passes south of Hawaii late Friday.

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch for the Big Island through Saturday afternoon. Meanwhile, small craft advisories were in effect for waters around Maui and the Big Island.

Winds over the summits of Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa and Haleakala volcanoes were expected to increase to 25 to 35 mph Friday afternoon. Tropical storms sustain winds of at least 39 mph.

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At 5 a.m. Hawaii Standard Time, the center of the tropical depression was about 400 miles southeast of Hilo and about 600 miles southeast of Honolulu. It was moving west at about 17 mph with maximum sustained winds near 35 mph with higher gusts.

The depression formed Saturday about halfway between Mexico and the Hawaiian Islands and became Tropical Storm Cosme on Monday. It was upgraded to hurricane status as its winds intensified to 75 to 80 mph but was downgraded Tuesday morning. It was reclassified a tropical depression when its winds dropped below 39 mph.

A service of the Associated Press(AP)