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Hurricane Hector becomes Category 4 storm, heads toward Hawaii

Hurricane Hector becomes Category 4 storm, heads toward Hawaii
Tropical storm force wind speed probabilities map (Courtesy National Weather Service)

Hurricane Hector strengthened to a Category 4 storm on Saturday as it churned toward the Central Pacific. The National Hurricane Center said the Hawaiian Islands should monitor the storm's progress.

As of 11 p.m. ET Saturday, Hector was located 1,395 miles south of Hilo, Hawaii. It had maximum sustained winds of 130 mph and moving at 12 mph.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 105 miles, the National Hurricane Center said.

Under the current forecast track, Hector is expected to pass south of the Big Island of Hawaii late Wednesday or Wednesday night. The center of Hector will pass just south of the Big Island by about 150 to 200 miles, close enough to the Big Island to bring enhanced showers and thunderstorms and gusty winds.

Forecasters also said Hector is expected to maintain major hurricane strength for the next two to three days, CBS Honolulu affiliate KGMB reports.

Hector will bring increased surf and a high risk for dangerous rip currents to east- and south-facing beaches of the southernmost islands, especially the Big Island and Maui during next week.