Powerful Hurricane Hector on the horizon


Farther out in the Pacific, Hurricane Hector strengthened again into a Category 4 storm, with winds of 130 miles per hour (215 kph), the hurricane center reported.

Hector is a category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

The volcano is in the middle of a three-month eruption of lava which has been spewing since May and has covered 13.4 square miles of the island's surface. It's not known yet if the island will be impacted.

An updated forecast projects the center of the storm to move on a slightly more southerly course than previous tracks, and forecasters say the center of Hector is expected to pass roughly 165 miles south of Hawaii Island on Wednesday.

The Hawaii Coast Guard has set a port condition of "WHISKEY" due to the impending storm, during which time commercial traffic and transfer operations are allowed to continue.

"While the official forecast track continues to lie south of the Hawaiian Islands, only a slight deviation to the north of the forecast track would significantly increase potential impacts on the Hawaiian Islands".

The US National Hurricane Centre in Miami said the hurricane poses no short-term threat to land.

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"Very rough surf is expected to impact mostly south- and east-facing coastal areas of the Big Island", AccuWeather meteorologist Dan Kottlowski said.

Mayor Harry Kim says officials are preparing for whatever nature brings.

First a volcano, now a hurricane?

A tropical storm watch is in effect Monday for waters south of the Big Island.

The Hawaiian Islands include Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Maui, and the island of Hawaii, which is often referred to as the Big Island. Lava from the volcano has destroyed more than 700 structures, including residences, since eruptions began in May.

The current eruption is the longest non-stop eruption on record from Kilauea's lower East Rift Zone.