The Central Pacific Hurricane Center has upgraded the Tropical Storm Watch that was in effect for the Big Island of Hawaii to a Tropical Storm Warning. Hector is expected to pass south of Hawaii tomorrow with no direct impacts expected; however, rough surf, gusty winds, and some heavy rain showers are possible. Interests on Johnston Island should monitor the progress of Hector in the coming days.
A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area.
As of 5pm HT, the center of Hurricane Hector was located near latitude 16.6 North, longitude 150.7 West. Hector is moving toward the west near 16 mph and this general motion is expected to continue through the next couple of days. On the forecast track, the center of Hector will pass 100 to 150 miles south of the Big Island during the day on Wednesday. Remember, the effects of a hurricane are far reaching and can extend well away from the center. Maximum sustained winds are near 130 mph, making it a Category 4 Hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 40 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles. Because the storm is passing 100-150 miles south, it is possible none of these winds will reach Hawaii. However, people in Hawaii, especially in the southern portions of the island, should be prepared in case the storm shifts north. Any minor shift north could bring more severe conditions up over the Big Island of Hawaii.
The estimated minimum central pressure is 952 mb (28.12 inches).
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. Even experienced swimmers and surfers should stay out of dangerous ocean conditions.
The worst of the wind would impact Hawaii on Wednesday. The strongest winds are expected downslope from mountains, across elevated terrain, over headlands, and through gaps. Stronger winds and dry, down-slope conditions could create fire weather concerns, especially across the Saddle and south of the Kohala mountains in Western Hawaii.