Category 4 Hurricane Hector heads toward Hawaii

Category 4 Hurricane Hector heads toward Hawaii

Hurricane Hector strengthened to a Category 3 hurricane Friday with maximum sustained winds of 120 miles per hour.

Hector is about 1360 miles (2190 kilometers) east of South Point, Hawaii, and is forecast to cross into the central Pacific by Sunday night or early Monday.

Hurricane Hector roared through the Central Pacific on Sunday and is expected to pass near the Big Island of Hawaii, where a volcano continues to send lava into the sea.

Meterologist James Spann said on Twitter that it was "too soon to determine what kind of impacts might occur in the state, since track errors can be large at long time ranges".

Two of Mother Nature's most potentially devastating forces - a major hurricane and an erupting volcano - appear headed for a close encounter on Hawaii's Big Island next week, weather forecasters said on Friday.

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Hurricane Hector picked up strength as it entered the Central Pacific Basin, according to forecasters.

The storm had maximum sustained winds of 125 miles per hour and was moving west at 12 miles per hour. Depending on its ultimate track, the storm could bring thunderstorms, gusty winds and increased surf to parts of the island and could also cause unsafe rip currents off the east- and south-facing beaches. A high surf advisory has been issued for east-facing shores of Maui.

According to the National Weather Service, the earliest reasonable onset of effects on Hawai'i Island will be sometime on Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning. "Hector could also track farther north near Hawaii if its forward speed slows down".

Hector is expected to gradually weaken during the next few days.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 100 miles.

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