Hurricane Hector Prompts Tropical Storm Warning for Hawaii

The imminent approach of Hurricane Hector prompted the issuance of a Tropical Storm Warning for Hawaii County.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday the center of Hurricane Hector was located at latitude 16.6°N and longitude 150.7°W which put it about 370 miles (590 km) east-southeast of South Point, Hawaii.  Hector was moving toward the west at 16 m.p.h. (26 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 130 m.p.h. (215 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 155 m.p.h. (250 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 952 mb.

The circulation of Hurricane Hector remains very well organized and it seems to have reached an equilibrium with its environment.  There is a circular eye at the center of circulation.  The eye is surrounded by a ring of strong thunderstorms and the strongest winds are occurring in that rings of storms.  Several bands of showers and thunderstorms are revolving around the core of Hurricane Hector.  Storms around the core were generating well developed upper level divergence was pumping mass away from the hurricane.  Winds to hurricane force extended out about 40 miles (65 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 115 miles (185 km) from the center.

Hurricane Hector will remain in a favorable environment for several more days.  Hector will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 27°C.  It will move through a region where the upper level winds are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear.  Hurricane Hector will remain a strong hurricane for the next few days.

Hurricane Hector will move south of the subtropical ridge over the Central Pacific Ocean.  The ridge will steer Hector in a general westerly direction for several more days.  On its anticipated track the center of Hurricane Hector will pass south of Hawaii.  However, rainbands on the north side of Hector could bring winds to tropical storm force to the Big Island of Hawaii, which is why the Tropical Storm Warning was issued for Hawaii County.