Hector weakens but remains Category 4 Hurricane
Hurricane Hector has weakened slightly but still remains a robust Category Four storm at present. At 500 AM HST (1500 UTC), the center of Hurricane Hector was located near latitude 16.1 North, longitude 147.8 West. Hector is moving toward the west near 16 mph (26 km/h). This general motion is expected to continue through Thursday. On the forecast track, Hector is expected to pass roughly 165 miles south of the Big Island of Hawaii on Wednesday.
Maximum sustained winds are near 130 mph (215 km/h) with higher gusts. Hector is a category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours. Satellite images show that Hector has degraded slightly since the previous advisory, with cooling temperatures noted within the slowly shrinking eye of the hurricane.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles (45 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 90 miles (150 km).
The forecast track brings the center of Hector roughly 165 miles south of the Big Island as a strong category 2 hurricane on Wednesday, and given the proximity of the storm to the island, the Tropical Storm Watch remains in effect. Swells generated by Hector are expected to reach southeast and east facing shores of the Big Island and eastern Maui late today, likely becoming large and dangerous by late tonight and Wednesday. In addition, tropical storm force winds are possible across Hawaii County late tonight and Wednesday.
For more information on Hurricane Hector visit: http://www.prh.noaa.gov/cphc/