Hurricane Hector passing hundreds of miles south of Hawaiian islands
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Hurricane Hector passing hundreds of miles south of Hawaiian islands

  • COURTESY NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION

    A composite of satellite images over a 7 1/2-hour period ending at 4:30 p.m. today shows the position of Hurricane Hector relative to Hawaii.

  • COURTESY CENTRAL PACIFIC HURRICANE CENTER

    The five-day forecast of wind probabilities for Hurricane Hector as of 5 p.m. today.

  • COURTESY CENTRAL PACIFIC HURRICANE CENTER

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

ADVERTISING

UPDATE: 5 p.m.

Hector, still a major hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 115 mph, was passing safely south of the Hawaiian islands this afternoon.

Hector was centered about 325 south-southeast of Honolulu and 235 miles south-southwest of Hilo and moving west at 16 mph, according to the 5 p.m. update from the Central Pacific Hurricane Center.

It was expected to continue in this westerly direction into Thursday as it passes hundreds of miles south of the islands. Hurricane-strength winds extend about 35 miles from the center while tropical storm-force winds extend up to 90 miles, forecasters said.

Still the storm is bringing high surf to some shores.

“Swells generated by Hector will bring large and dangerous surf to portions of the main Hawaiian islands into Thursday. Surf heights near 20 feet were reported on the southeast side of the Big Island Wednesday afternoon,” forecasters said.

The National Weather Service forecast for the state calls for “breezy trade winds … with strong winds affecting Lanai and the summits of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. A wind

advisory is in effect for those areas until midnight.”

Meanwhile, all absentee walk-in voting sites, including in Pahoa and Pahala, will be open Thursday now that the threat from Hurricane Hector has passed, according to the state Office of Elections.

The Pahoa and Pahala sites were closed today as the hurricane moved towards the south of Hawaii island.

Absentee walk-in voting throughout the island ends Thursday. Primary Election Day is Saturday.

11 a.m.

Although Hector remains a Category 3 hurricane, the tropical storm warning for Hawaii County has been canceled as the storm passes south.

With maximum sustained winds of 115 mph, Hector was located about 220 miles south of Hilo and 370 miles south-southeast of Honolulu and traveling west at 16 mph at 11 a.m., according to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center.

Melissa Dye, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service, said Hector is continuing to move on its forecast track.

“It’s still moving west at 16 miles per hour and that’s expected to continue through Thursday. Once it gets past the island chain Friday and Saturday, it will start to move northwest gradually and will no longer be a threat to the islands,” Dye said.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles from Hector’s center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 90 miles.

Hector is forecast to pass around 300 miles south of Honolulu tonight.

8:30 a.m.

Hector has weakened slightly but is still a Category 3 hurricane heading west, just south of Hawaii island.

Packing maximum sustained winds of 120 mph, Hector was located 225 miles south-southeast of Hilo and 400 miles southeast of Honolulu at 8 a.m. and heading west at 15 mph, according to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center.

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

PREVIOUS COVERAGE

Packing maximum sustained winds of 125 mph this morning, the still-powerful Category 3 Hurricane Hector is well south of the islands and expected to stay on a westward track away from Hawaii.

At 5 a.m. today, Hector was located about 240 miles south-southeast of Hilo and 425 miles southeast of Honolulu and moving west at 16 mph, according to the National Weather Service.

A tropical storm warning remains in effect for Hawaii County.

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

Forecasters expect Hector to continue to weaken over the next couple of days although it should remain a strong hurricane through tonight.

In addition to the tropical storm warning, the weather service has issued the following advisories:

>> A hurricane warning for Hawaiian offshore waters beyond 40 nautical miles to 240 nautical miles including the portion of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument east of French Frigate Shoals. Weather officials say to expect hurricane conditions in southeast waters with seas of 15 to 30 feet and scattered thunderstorms.

>> A high surf warning for eastern shores of the Big Island and Maui. Surf up to 15 feet is expected through 6 p.m. today. “Expect ocean water occasionally sweeping across portions of beaches, very strong breaking waves, and strong longshore and rip currents,” forecasters said. “Breaking waves may occasionally impact harbors making navigating the harbor channel dangerous.”

>> A gale warning for Pailolo, Alenuihaha channels and Maalea Bay with winds up to 35 knots, and a small craft advisory for Windward waters from Kauai to the Big Island through 6 a.m. Thursday.

>> And a wind advisory for Lanai, where forecasters expect northeast winds up to 35 mph with localized gusts up to 50 mph, until midnight tonight.

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