As of 11 a.m. EST, Hector had winds of 145 miles per hour, with higher gusts, according to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center.
The center of the storm was located about 1,360 miles east of South Point, Hawaii, as of the NHC's 2 a.m. PDT update.
Hector was on a trajectory that could brush the southern coast of the Big Island late on Wednesday morning, the NHC said.
The National Weather Service says Hurricane Hector is expected to pass south of the Big Island Tuesday night and Wednesday as it moves westward.
In this forecast map from Tuesday, the National Hurricane Center predicts Hurricane Hector will track south of Hawaii.
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Hawaii residents have now been urged to take precaution and prepare for the oncoming storm, with Hurricane Hector expected to hit this week.
The County of Hawai'i reports that the county is preparing for the arrival of Hurricane Hector in the Central Pacific region later this week.
Mayor Harry Kim said the session was aimed at getting staff familiar with the background regarding the storm, which was approaching the 140-degree longitude boundary into the Central Pacific. Lava from the volcano has destroyed more than 700 structures, including residences, since eruptions began in May. Any deviation northward could bring Hector close enough to impact the Big Island.
Scientists have differing opinions over how hurricanes and volcanoes might interact, including the question of whether low atmospheric pressure could help trigger an eruption. At this far distance, it can still change directions and avoid the Big Island of Hawaii altogether, but the high speeds of a hurricane combined with the erupting Kilauea volcano is a concern.