The Latest: Hurricane watch area reduced in Hawaii

The Latest on tropical weather systems threatening Hawaii (all times local):

9:10 a.m.

A hurricane watch has been dropped on Hawaii's Big Island, but the threat remains for Maui County and the island of Oahu as Hurricane Lester barrels through the Pacific.

Meteorologist Bob Burke of the National Weather Service said Friday that the storm weakened to a Category 2 but is expected to remain a hurricane as it passes north of the islands.

Large waves from 15 to 25 feet are expected to pound east-facing shores of major islands.

Burke says low-lying areas could be prone to flooding. He says strong winds could pick up starting Friday night.

Hurricane Lester is on track to blow by Hawaii running north of the island chain and parallel to the islands. It's not expected to hit the islands as a hurricane unless it turns south.