Hurricane Hector regains strength as it plows toward Hawaii

NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER           The 5-day forecast con for Hurricane Hector as of 5 a.m. Friday

Hector has entered the Central Pacific as a Category 4 Hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale, with increased forward movement near 15 miles per hour and maximum sustained winds are near 140 miles per hour. It was expected to gain strength before weakening and bypassing Hawaii to the south by about 150 miles.

There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect but the center said the Hawaiian Islands should monitor the hurricane's progress.

Hector is expected to continue moving west and have a slight increase in speed over the next couple of days.

The storm was about 1,390 miles southeast of the Hawaiian islands on Sunday and should cross into the central Pacific ocean by Sunday night or early Monday morning.

Hector is expected to gradually weaken during the next few days.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 105 miles, the National Hurricane Center said.

Hawaii faces a new threat in the form of Hurricane Hector, a Category 3 storm that is churning its way towards the Big Island. Though it's not certain to make landfall, the NHC's cone of uncertainty shows the eye of the storm could hit the island's southernmost point.

Even as a months-long volcanic eruption goes on, Hawaii is now on alert for a unsafe hurricane forecast to pass south of the islands at midweek.

The forecast track for Hurricane Hector.

"Hector is our first hurricane this year".

While the latest eruptions started in May, the volcano has spewed lava since the 1980s, becoming a major tourist destination even as it threatened nearby residents. The United States Geological Survey said Saturday that the volcano is still sending large amounts of lava into the sea.

At least 700 homes have been destroyed, authorities estimate, and thousands of people have been displaced.

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