Douglas Strengthens, Becoming First Hurricane of Eastern Pacific Season

By Ben Gutierrez.

Douglas has strengthened into the first hurricane of the 2020 Eastern Pacific season.

As of the 5 a.m. Wednesday update, Douglas was about 1,785 miles east-southeast of Hilo or 1,500 miles southwest of the southern tip of Baja California.

Douglas now has maximum sustained winds of 75 mph with higher gusts, making it a Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 15 miles from the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles.

It was moving west near 15 mph.

Forecasters say Douglas will turn west-northwestward by late Wednesday.

The current forecast track brings it into the Central Pacific sometime Friday as a hurricane. It should weaken into a tropical storm shortly thereafter as it encounters an area of drier air and cooler sea surface temperatures.

It’s still too early to say exactly what impacts Douglas could have on the Hawaiian islands, but emergency officials are urging residents to prepare.

Any impacts likely will begin to occur as soon as Saturday, based on the current forecast track.