Hurricane Hector In Hawaii: Category 4 Storm Strengthening As It Approaches
Hurricane Hector is predicted to make a close encounter with Hawaii, passing south of the islands, sometime middle of this week. In this image: Hurricane Lester is pictured in the Pacific Ocean as it approaches Hawaii in this NASA handout satellite photo, Sept. 2, 2016. Reuters/NASA Handout

Even as Hawaii is still struggling with the Kilauea volcano eruption that started over three months ago, Hurricane Hector, which is currently a category 4 storm and strengthening, is making its way to the islands.

With the current path, Hurricane Hector is predicted to make a close encounter with Hawaii, passing south of the islands, sometime in the middle of this week.

At 11 p.m. Sunday local time (5 a.m. EDT Monday), the Central Pacific Hurricane Center put out the latest public advisory statement that said it expected an increased forward speed of the hurricane all through Tuesday, and from Tuesday night to Friday, the hurricane would move westward.

As per the last update, the hurricane was 1,010 miles of Hilo and 1,215 miles of Honolulu. The current maximum wind speed was at 140 mph. The cyclone was expected to decrease in intensity from Monday night to Wednesday.

Though no coastal watches or warnings were issued by the Center, it asked that concerned parties in Hawaiian Islands should keep track of the hurricane's progress.

As per a graph provided on the website, the hurricane would most likely reach Hawaii sometime between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. At the earliest, it would make landfall on Tuesday night.

According to the National Hurricane Center, the hurricane was strengthening as it progressed across the Pacific Ocean. At around 5 p.m. local time Sunday, the storm was located around 1,175 miles of the southern coast of Hawaii, according to National Hurricane Control, which posted its last update on the storm as it moved to the area under Central Pacific Hurricane Center.

"The track of the hurricane still has the center passing well south of the main Hawaiian island at this time," CNN meteorologist Haley Brink said. "It is still too soon to tell what effects this hurricane will have (if any) on the Hawaii islands.”

There might be a greater risk of surf and a dangerous rip current to occur in the east and south facing beached of the southernmost islands of Hawaii due to the hurricane, especially the Big Islands, where Kilauea has been erupting continuously for three months, and Maui , News4Jax reported.

Meanwhile, Hawaii Mayor Harry Kim held a briefing on Sunday at the Civil Defense Agency's Emergency Operations Center where he said the area was preparing for Hector’s arrival.

"Civil Defense will keep the community informed through regular updates. We continue 24-hour operation to monitor the eruption in the Lower East Rift Zone and the hurricane,” a statement provided by Kim’s office said.

Other state officials urged residents to prepare and take adequate precautions for the storm as well.

"Hector is our first hurricane this year. 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, the state's emergency management administrator, said.

Hector started off as an area of low pressure close to Mexico on July 28. It turned into a tropical depression July 31 and soon became the tropical storm Hector the next day. On Aug. 2, Hector became a hurricane which rapidly grew. On Aug. 4, Hector was a category 4 hurricane, though it reverted back into a category 3 within 6 hours. It once again intensified and became a category 4 hurricane Aug 5.