Tropical storm watch posted for Big Isle as Hector remains a category 4 hurricane
  • Wednesday, December 12, 2018
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Tropical storm watch posted for Big Isle as Hector remains a category 4 hurricane

  • COURTESY CENTRAL PACIFIC HURRICANE CENTER

    The 5-day forecast for Hurricane Hector as of 11 p.m. today.

    COURTESY CENTRAL PACIFIC HURRICANE CENTER

    A composite satellite image at 11 a.m. today showed the position of Hurricane Hector relative to Hawaii.

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UPDATE: 11 p.m.

Hurricane Hector has weakened slightly but remains a strong category 4 hurricane.

It’s located 640 miles east-southeast of Hilo and 850 miles east-southeast of Honolulu with winds at 145 mph. A tropical storm watch remains in effect for the Big Island.

Hector is moving toward the west near 16 mph and this motion is expected to continue through Tuesday, followed by a turn toward the west Tuesday night through Thursday. Some weakening is expected in the next 48 hours but Hector will remain a major hurricane.

Hector is still expected to pass roughly 165 miles south of the Big Island on Wednesday. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 105 miles.

Swells generated by Hector are expected to reach southeast and east facing shores of the Big Island and eastern Maui late Tuesday and likely increasing in size by late Tuesday night and Wednesday. Tropical storm force winds are possible across the Big Island late Tuesday night or Wednesday.

8 p.m.

Hurricane Hector continues on a west-northwest path this evening.

The strong Category 4 hurricane, with winds at 155 mph, is located 680 miles east-southeast of Hilo and 895 miles east-southeast of Honolulu.

The Central Pacific Hurricane Center said Hector, moving at 16 mph, is expected to continue in the same direction tonight and turn toward the west on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 105 miles.

5 p.m.

Hurricane Hector continues to move westward across the central Pacific this afternoon.

The strong Category 4 hurricane, with winds at 155 mph, was located 735 miles east-southeast of Hilo and 945 miles east-southeast of Honolulu. Hector is expected to pass about 150 miles south of the Big Island on Wednesday. Hawaii island remains under a tropical storm watch, which means means sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph are possible within 48 hours.

Hector is moving at 16 mph and expected to continue toward the west-northwest tonight, followed by a turn toward the west on Tuesday and Wednesday. Hurricane-force winds extend up to 35 miles from Hector’s center while tropical storm-force winds extend 105 miles, according to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center.

Forecasters say that surf from Hector is expected to reach southeastern and eastern shores of Hawaii island and eastern Maui over the next day, “likely becoming large by late Tuesday and Wednesday.” Tropical storm-force winds are possible across the Big Island late Tuesday night or Wednesday, they said.

12:15 p.m.

Hawaii County officials have provided additional public safety measures and recommendations in the face of the tropical storm watch for Hawaii island prompted by the approach of Hurricane Hector.

Visitors and residents are advised to secure large objects in their yards, prepare for strong winds and secure all boats and aircraft.

Whittington, Punaluu, and Milolii beach parks will be closed after tonight, and all pavilion and camping permits from Tuesday through Friday have been canceled.

The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, meanwhile, says that high surf is expected for eastern shores of Hawaii island and East Maui, with heights building today through Tuesday and peaking Tuesday night and Wednesday. Surf may reach 15 to 20 feet, they said today.

National Weather Service forecasters warn that “if Hector tracks further north than currently forecast, tropical storm force winds are possible south of the Big Island late Tuesday night into Wednesday.”

11 a.m.

Hurricane Hector continues to grow in strength as it approaches the state, prompting a tropical storm watch for Hawaii island.

As of 11 a.m., Hector was packing maximum sustained winds of 155 mph — up 10 mph from 5 a.m — and its center was located 850 miles east-southeast of Hilo and 1,055 miles east-southeast of Honolulu, according to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center.

A tropical storm watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area within 48 hours.

The Category 4 storm is still moving west, although now slightly faster at 16 mph.

Forecasters expect Hector to continue on its present course but weaken somewhat over the next 48 hours.

Hector is expected to pass roughly 150 miles south of the Big Island of Hawaii on Wednesday, weather officials said in a bulletin. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 105 miles.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE

Hurricane Hector gained in strength overnight as it continues its march westward across the Central Pacific.

With maximum sustained winds of 145 mph — up 5 mph from Sunday night — Hector’s center was located about 930 miles east-southeast from Hilo as of 5 a.m. today and moving west at 15 mph, according to the National Weather Service.

However, forecasters still expect the storm to pass south of the Hawaiian Islands and gradually weaken over the next few days.

“A motion toward the west-northwest at an increased forward speed is expected through Tuesday, followed by a westward motion Tuesday night through Friday,” weather officials said in a bulletin.

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

The National Hurricane Center recommends local residents ensure they have a hurricane plan in place. The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency urges residents to prepare an emergency kit that includes food, water and other supplies to last a minimum of 14 days.

More tips:

>> Talk with family members and develop a clear understanding what you will do if a hurricane or tropical storm threatens. Prepare an action plan that includes details such as whether your family plans to shelter in place or evacuate.

>> Know if your home is in an inundation zone, flood zone, or susceptible to high winds and other hazards. Know if your home is retrofitted with hurricane resistant clips or straps.

>> Stay tuned to local media and their websites/applications regarding weather updates.

>> Sign up for local notification systems.

>> Get to know your neighbors and community so you can help each other.

>> Walk your property and check for potential flood threats. Clear your gutters and other drainage systems. Remove and secure loose items. Keep your car gas tanks filled.

>> Prepare your pets by checking or purchasing a carrier and other preparedness items. A pet carrier is necessary for your pet’s safety if you plan to evacuate to a pet-friendly shelter. Don’t forget 14 days of food and water for your furry family members.

>> Set aside an emergency supply of any needed medication and keep a copy of your prescriptions in case you run out of medication after a disaster.

>> Secure your important documents in protective containers.

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