County Preparing for Hurricane Hector

County Preparing for Hurricane Hector

Hurricane Hector was swirling harmlessly in the Pacific about 1,700 miles east of Big Island but it grew into a category three hurricane on Friday as its maximum sustained winds reached 120mph.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles (45 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 105 miles (165 km). "We want to remind the public we are in the middle of the hurricane season and we urge people to take the weekend to prepare their homes and families for impacts that could be felt statewide", Tom Travis, Hawaii's Administrator of Emergency Management, said in a news release. The storm could make a direct hit near Hawaii's Kilauea volcano, which has been spewing lava and molten rock since it erupted May 3. Hector related weather forecast impacts for other islands will need to wait until the time period gets closer.

So far, lava from Kilauea volcano destroyed buildings and homes causing thousands to evacuate nearby areas, but in mid-July, a lava bomb from the volcano hit a nearby boat and injured 23 people.

Deanna Marks, a meteorologist from the National Weather Service's Hilo office, told emergency workers this morning at Civil Defense headquarters in Hilo that there is a 33 percent chance Hector will bring tropical storm force winds of between 39 and 73 miles per hour to South Point.

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The NHC said: "A motion toward the west-northwest at an increased forward speed is expected through Monday night, followed by a westward motion Tuesday and Wednesday".

Rain: Rains from the deep tropical moisture surrounding Hector could affect the Puna and Kau Districts of Hawaii Island, and some of those rain showers may be locally heavy at times, especially on east and southeast-facing slopes. After that, gradual weakening is expected Monday night through Wednesday.

Scientists differ over how hurricanes and volcanoes might interact, including the question of whether low atmospheric pressure from a major cyclone could help trigger an eruption, and much remains unknown on the subject.

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