Hurricane Hector aims at Hawaii, already coping with erupting volcano

NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER           The 5-day forecast con for Hurricane Hector as of 5 a.m. Friday

NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER The 5-day forecast con for Hurricane Hector as of 5 a.m. Friday

With maximum wind reaching speeds of 125 mph, the hurricane is still a long way from the islands, approximately 1,360 miles out as of Sunday.

Hurricane Hector is expected to pass Hawaii by the middle of the week, although by that time it could weaken into a tropical storm.

Hawaii's Big Island already is dealing with another natural disaster - the eruption of Kilauea Volcano in the southeast. On Friday, state officials warned residents and visitors to take precautions in case Hector gets closer to the island chain.

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"Hector is our first hurricane this year", said Tom Travis, administrator of Hawaii Emergency Management Agency in a statement to the Honolulu Star Advertiser.

The National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said Hurricane Hector is recording sustained winds of 140mph, which are capable of causing devastating damage to populated areas.

A graphic made by the National Weather Service shows Hurricane Hector's projected track as of 5 a.m. ET on August 6, 2018. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles (45 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 100 miles (155 km). Additionally and likely more importantly, very dry mid-level air will begin to surround the storm beginning later today or tonight, and this is expected to lead to a slow and gradual weakening of the system through Wednesday night.

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That would put the storm on a virtual collision course with Kilauea Volcano, situated on the southern portion of the island.

Even as a months-long volcanic eruption goes on, Hawaii is now on alert for a unsafe hurricane forecast to pass south of the islands at midweek.

Hector was on a trajectory that could brush the southern coast of the Big Island late on Wednesday morning, the NHC said.

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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. It is rare for a hurricane to directly hit Hawaii.

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