UPDATE: 11:35 p.m.
Hector has been downgraded to a still-powerful Category 3 hurricane as it stays on track to pass within 150 miles south of the Big Island Wednesday.
Central Pacific Hurricane Center forecasters said at 11 p.m. that Hector was 390 miles southeast of Hilo moving west at 16 mph, with maximum sustained winds of 125 mph and higher gusts, making it a strong Category 3 storm.
“On the latest forecast track, the center of Hector is expected to pass about 150 miles south of the Big Island during the day on Wednesday,” the latest update said. “Remember, the effects of a hurricane are far-reaching and can extend well away from the center.”
Hawaii island remains under a tropical storm warning with sustained winds above 39 mph possible Wednesday.
Hurricane-force winds extend up to 40 miles from Hector’s center and tropical storm-force winds extend up to 115 miles, forecasters said.
The National Weather Service in Honolulu said that gusts up to 60 mph were possible on the Big Island from Wednesday morning until Wednesday afternoon.
While high surf is expected for Hawaii island and Maui, there is no threat of storm surge or flooding from heavy rains, the weather service said.
Still, 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.
>> A high surf warning for eastern shores of the Big Island and Maui. Surf up to 15 feet is expected through 6 p.m. Wednesday. “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.”
>> And a gale warning for Pailolo, Alenuihaha Channels and Maalea Bay, and a small craft advisory for Windward waters from Oahu to the Big Island through Wednesday night.
UPDATE: 8 p.m.
Hurricane Hector is on track for its northern fringes to begin brushing the Big Island on Wednesday, the National Weather Service said.
The category 4 hurricane is about 315 miles southeast of Hilo and 520 miles east-southeast of Honolulu, moving about 16 mph to the west with 130-mph maximum sustained winds. It is expected to continue on this path while weakening over the next couple days. The center is expected to pass 100 to 150 miles south of the Big Island, the Weather Service said.
Multiple warnings remain in effect due to the storm, including a high surf warning for east-facing shores of the Big Island, a gale warning for waters east of the state, and a tropical storm warning for parts of the Big Island.
The tropical storm warning covers Kawaihae, Waikoloa Village, and Mahukona and means tropical storm-force winds are expected in the area within the next 36 hours.
A gale warning is scheduled to take effect from midnight to 6 p.m. Wednesday for the Alenuihaha and Pailolo channels and Maalaea Bay.
Northeast winds are expected to increase in those areas to 25 to 35 knots after midnight with seas of 7 to 12 feet.
A high surf warning for east-facing shores of the Big Island is in effect until 6 p.m. Wednesday. Surf is forecast to reach 12 to 15 feet along east-facing shores Wednesday, along with water sweeping across portions of beaches, strong breaking waves, and rip currents, the Weather Service said.
Acting Mayor Wil Okabe of Hawaii County has declared a state of emergency due to the threat of imminent disaster by Hurricane Hector.
The state of emergency is effective today and will continue for 60 days or until further action is taken by the county.
The proclamation says: “due to the possibility of imminent disaster due to property damage and/or bodily injury to residents of Hawaii Island, and the need for government agencies and representatives from the private sector to mobilize and provide immediate services to our island residents, a state of emergency is authorized” pursuant to county code.
Hawaii County and state officials are warning the public to prepare for the arrival of strong winds and high surf as Hurricane Hector passes just south of the Big Island.
According to the National Weather Service, Hector will pass about 100 to 150 miles south of Hawaii island Wednesday and its “northern fringe” will bring tropical storm-force winds of 39 mph or higher to the island. Surf along eastern shores is expected to peak tonight and early Wednesday at 12 to 15 feet for the Big Island, mainly for the Puna and Kau districts, with 6 to 10 feet surf for eastern Maui, forecasters said.
Rain from Hector is expected to affect the Puna, Kau, North Hilo, and South Hilo districts Wednesday and Thursday, with showers locally heavy at times, especially over east- and southeast-facing slopes, they said.
Hawaii island police closed South Point Road at the Kamaoa Road intersection to all but local traffic due to high winds this evening.
The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency advises the public to monitor storm reports and heed local officials’ recommendations, including possible evacuation. They also recommend that visitors read the Hawaii Tourism Authority’s Travel Safety Brochure at http://www.travelsmarthawaii.com.
Anyone in a place that is vulnerable to high wind — including near large trees, manufactured homes, upper floors of a high-rise buildings, or on boats — should consider moving to a safer shelter before strong winds or flooding occur, HI-EMA officials said.
The state’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife, meanwhile, has closed the Waimanu valley campground and Ainapo cabin through Wednesday. “There may be flooding risk at Waimanu due to possible effects of a king tide, storm surge and heavy rainfall,” state officials said in a news release. “Ainapo may face possible impacts due to tropical strength winds and rainfall.”
They are also advising anyone hiking on Oahu trails: “Please take caution before entering all forested areas as weather conditions may rapidly change. The Na Ala Hele Program strongly advises all users to check the current weather conditions before heading out. Please be aware that this advisory notice may turn into a warning. If weather conditions reach warning levels, all Oahu trails will be closed until further notice.”
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell is asking the public to remain vigilant as the storm passes south of the islands. “Although Hurricane Hector is expected to pass south of our state, Oahu residents and visitors need to know that even a slight deviation to a more northerly course could cause major impacts,” Caldwell said. “As Hurricane Hector passes the Hawaiian islands later tonight, we stand ready to respond should the situation change and ask everyone to remain vigilant.”
A tropical storm warning is in effect for Hawaii County, as Hurricane Hector approaches.
Tropical storm conditions are expected to cross portions of the Big Island on Wednesday, as the core of the storm passes to the south, the Central Pacific Hurricane Center said.
At about 5 p.m., Hector was a Category 4 hurricane, with maximum sustained winds at 130 mph and higher gusts, and was moving west at 16 mph. Forecasters expect it to continue in this direction for the next couple of days. It was centered about 370 miles east-southeast of South Point and 570 miles east-southeast of Honolulu, they said.
Hurricane-force winds extend up to 40 miles from Hector’s center and tropical-storm-force winds extend up to 115 miles.
Weather officials say swells generated by Hector are expected to reach southeast- and east-facing shores of the Big Island and eastern Maui late today. They will likely become large and dangerous by late tonight and Wednesday, according to the hurricane center.
Hurricane Hector remains a category 4 hurricane as it continues crossing the ocean at 17 mph.
On its current track, the storm’s center is expected to pass less than 200 miles south of the Big Island on Wednesday, but the effects of a hurricane can extend some distance from the center, the National Weather Service said.
Hurricane-force winds extend up to 40 miles from the center and tropical-storm force winds extend up to 115 miles outward.
The storm is about 410 miles east-southeast of South Point on Hawaii island and 615 miles east-southeast of Honolulu.
Data from the Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters show sustained winds reaching 130 mph with higher gusts.
The hurricane is forecast to weaken somewhat over the next two days.
Swells generated by the storm are expected to reach southeast- and east-facing shores of Maui and the Big Island tonight, becoming dangerous and large by Wednesday.
The Kahuku Unit at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park will be closed Wednesday in anticipation of Hurricane Hector. Most of the national park has been closed to the public since May 11 due to hazardous volcanic and seismic activity. The closure at Kahuku could continue Thursday should conditions worsen.
The National Weather Service has issued a gale warning for the Alenuihaha and Pailolo channels and Maalaea Bay to go into effect from midnight through 6 p.m. Wednesday as Hurricane Hector nears the main Hawaiian islands.
A gale warning is issued when winds of 34 to 47 knots are imminent or occurring, according to the weather service.
A small craft advisory will also go into effect during the same time period as winds of 25 to 33 knots and seas of 10 feet or higher are expected to produce hazardous conditions for small vessels.
The U.S. Coast Guard, meanwhile, set Hawaii County ports (Hilo and Kawaihae) to YANKEE, as of 11 a.m. today, meaning they are closed to inbound traffic, and vessel traffic control measures are in effect on vessel movements within the port in preparation for gale force winds predicted to arrive within 24 hours.
All pleasure craft are to seek sheltered waters, and all ocean-going vessels and barges 200 gross tons and above, without an approved application to remain in port, shall make preparations to depart before the setting of port condition ZULU, which means sustained gale force winds are anticipated within 12 hours.
“Hector is forecast to pass almost 200 miles to the south of the Big Island, but we will not be complacent as storm tracks may shift and we can expect some severe winds,” said Capt. Michael Long, Captain of Port Honolulu, in a news release. “The residents of the Main Hawaiian Islands are dependent on the ports. I am committed to ensuring the safety of commerce and seeing the ports return to our seasonal readiness status as soon as is practical to do so.”
The public should also stay off the water and clear of beaches when hurricane or tropical storm force winds are present, the Coast Guard said, because its search and rescue capabilities degrade as storm conditions strengthen.
Honolulu and Maui county ports, meanwhile, remain at WHISKEY. No conditions have been set for Kauai at this time.
As residents and businesses prepare for Hurricane Hector, the National Weather Service advises the public not to solely focus on the forecast track because hazards such as flooding rain, damaging wind gusts and storm surge extend well away from the center of the storm.
Forecasters say hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 40 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force-winds extend outward up to 115 miles.
Due to the threat of the hurricane, the Kilauea Disaster Recovery Center will be closed Wednesday.
The disaster recovery center at the Pahoa Neighborhood Facility is scheduled to close at 6 p.m. today. Officials will evaluate conditions Thursday to determine when the center will reopen.
Residents and businesses who suffered damage or losses as a result of the eruption activity have until Aug. 13 to register for assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency or the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Individuals may also register online at DisasterAssistance.gov or by phone at 800-621-3362 (TTY) 800-462-7585.
Hurricane Hector is expected to pass approximately 165 miles south of the main Hawaiian islands, however, forecasters say a slight deviation to the north of the forecasted track could bring strong winds to the Big Island later tonight and Wednesday.
Maximum sustained winds for Hector still clock in at 130 mph with the storm moving west at 16 mph, according to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center.
The National Weather Service has issued a high surf warning for the east shores on the Big Island and a high surf advisory for east shores on Maui. Forecasters have observed surf building on the east shores that is expected to peak later today and tonight at 12 to 15 feet for the Big Island, mainly in Puna and Kau, and 6 to 10 feet for Maui.
Enhanced rainfall from deep tropical moisture surrounding Hector is expected to impact Puna and Kau as the Category 4 hurricane, which is expected to weaken, passes south of the islands on Wednesday and Thursday.
The weather service noted rain is expected to be heavy especially over the east- to southeast-facing slopes.
Forecasters also issued a high surf warning for Oahu to take effect from noon today through 6 p.m. Wednesday. Surf is expected to peak to 12 to 15 feet along the east shores later today and tonight. Strong breaking waves and rip currents.
The public is advised to prepare for hazardous winds and localized rainfall flooding as they could potentially cause power outages, road closures and evacuations.
The weather service also recommends residents and visitors alike to check and review your emergency plan and have an emergency supply kit on hand.
For additional tips on hurricane preparedness, visit: https://808ne.ws/hurricanepreparedness.
A tropical storm watch remains in effect for Hawaii County as Hurricane Hector moves closer to Hawaii.
Hurricane Hector is expected to pass south of Hawaii island tonight and Wednesday as the Category 4 hurricane moves westward.
The National Weather Service said the following locations are forecasted to be affected: Kailua-Kona, Captain Cook, Milolii, Hilo, Kamuela, Hawi, Pahoa, Volcano, Kawaihae, Waikoloa Village, Mahukona, Bradshaw Army Airfield, Mauna Kea summit, Mauna Loa summit, Naalehu, Pahala, Hawaiian Ocean View Estates.
Strong winds with peaks of up to 10 to 20 miles per hour and gusts of 30 miles per hour are expected within the next 48 hours. High surf and localized flooding from heavy rain are also possible.
The Hawaii Civil Defense Agency has announced Whittington, Punaluu and Milolii Beach Parks are closed and that all pavilion and camping permits for the three parks have been canceled through Friday.
The weather service and the Hawaii Civil Defense Agency recommend the following safety tips to the public:
>> Secure large objects in your yard, porches and carports.
>> Secure boats and aircraft.
>> Be prepared for conditions that can change rapidly.
Hurricane Hector’s maximum sustained winds and bearing remain the same, though the storm is now a bit closer to the islands.
As of 8 a.m., Hector was located about 495 miles east-southeast of Hilo and 705 miles east-southeast of Honolulu.
Hector weakened slightly overnight but remains a Category 4 hurricane.
Located 540 miles east-southeast of Hilo and 750 miles east-southeast of Honolulu, Hector was packing maximum sustained winds of 130 mph — a drop of 15 mph from Monday night — at 5 a.m. today, according to the National Weather Service. A tropical storm watch remains in effect for Hawaii island.
Hector is still heading west at 16 mph and this motion is expected to continue through Thursday. Further weakening is expected over the next 48 hours but Hector is expected to be a strong category 2 hurricane Wednesday when it is forecast to pass about 165 miles south of Hawaii island.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles from Hector’s center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 90 miles.
Swells generated by Hector are expected to reach southeast and east-facing shores of the Big Island and eastern Maui late today, likely increasing in size by late tonight and Wednesday. Tropical storm force winds are possible across the Big Island late tonight or Wednesday.
Forecasters expect surf up to 12 to 15 for the Big Island and up to 6 to 10 feet for eastern Maui.
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.
>> 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.