Hurricane Hector weakens to category 3

Hurricane Hector

Hurricane Hector whirled toward Hawaii with 130 miles per hour winds, bringing the threat of unsafe sea swells on two islands in the U.S. archipelago state. As of the morning of August 9, Hector was moving to the southwest from Hilo to the West at a speed of 20 km per hour.

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

Hurricane Hector remained a category 3 storm.

Hector is moving west at 16mph, maximum sustained winds will reach near 125mph with higher gusts.

Swells kicked up by Hector are expected to reach shores of the Big Island and Maui late yesterday, "likely becoming large and risky starting early Wednesday morning, and continuing through Wednesday afternoon", the Central Pacific Hurricane Centre in Honolulu said.

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An uptick in squalls, locally heavy rain, brief gusty winds, heavy seas and surf may occur on the islands through the latter part of the week, AccuWeather reported. Slight weakening is forecast during the next couple of days. "However, very rough surf is expected to impact mostly south- and east-facing coastal areas of the Big Island".

If the storm deviates northwards it could bring Hector close enough to impact the Big Island directly.

"The strongest winds are expected downslope from mountains, across elevated terrain, over headlands and through gaps". On the Big Island's southeastern corner, that means voters are gearing up for the polls even as a volcano oozes lava and Hurricane Hector aims for waters to the south.

Forecasters with the National Weather Service say surf will rise 12 to 15 feet along east shores of the Big Island, and 6 to 10 feet along east shores of Maui.

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