As good as our technology is, the weather is still incredibly difficult to predict. Case in point, the current situation in the Central Pacific. So here’s a Hurricane Hector update.
Yesterday, forecasts put Hector on a path just south of the islands. And it was also predicted that the storm would begin to weaken. However, weaken it has not. Instead, Hector has strengthened to near Category 5 strength, packing maximum sustained winds of 155 miles per hour.
As of 9:00 pm HST last night, the storm continued moving west and northwest at about 16 mph. And it was about 680 miles southeast of the Big Island, or about 895 miles southeast of Honolulu.
While it’s still too early to tell what kind of effects Hector may have on the islands. But, yesterday, a tropical storm watch was issued for the Big Island. A tropical storm watch means tropical storm conditions are possible for the area within a 48 hour period.
Why a tropical storm watch? Because hurricane-force winds extend only 30 to 35 miles from the center of the storm. However, tropical storm strength winds extend around 105 miles from the center of the storm. Tropical storm strength winds are defined as maximum sustained winds between 39 and 73 mph.
Currently, Hector is predicted to pass 150 miles to the south of the Big Island. But, the margin of error still takes the center of the storm close to the island. At a minimum, though, it’s predicted that heavy showers and high surf could impact the eastern part of the Big Island beginning on Wednesday.
Hurricane Hector Update, Final Thoughts
We may be only a day away from potential storm impacts, but things can still change at any time. Again, it’s best to be prepared for any possible contingency. So, if you’re planning on traveling to or from the islands from Wednesday through Friday, be sure to review your credit cards’ Trip Delay/Interruption/Cancellation policies. And if you’re going to be on the Big Island on those days, the plan on remaining indoors. Got a tour scheduled? Call your tour company to see what their plans are and what can be done.