Hurricane Hector Closing in on Hawaii

Officials and residents in Hawaii are keeping a close eye on Hurricane Hector as it continues to head toward the Big Island and the active Kilauea Volcano there.

The National Hurricane Center said in an advisory Sunday that Hurricane Hector briefly strengthened into a Category 4 storm overnight, before winds dipped back down to 125 mph, below the 130 mph required for a Category 4 classification. 

The storm is currently around 1,300 miles away from the southeastern tip of the Hawaiian Islands, as it continues to move on a westward track at around 12 mph. Meteorologists say the predicted paths of the hurricane have it hitting, or brushing past the southern edge of Hawaii's Big Island by Wednesday. The NHC said two forecast models show Hurricane Hector coming "within 60 (nautical miles) of the Big Island" of Hawaii. 

Some predictions also have the storm on a collision course with the Kilauea Volcano, which has been erupting near the southern tip of the Big Island since May 3. Hundreds of people have had to evacuate the area after dozens of homes were consumed by the lava

Scientists say they're unsure how a hurricane and active volcano would interact, with questions over whether the low pressure atmospheric conditions could trigger another major eruption

Ultimately, the jet stream will determine Hawaii's fate with this storm, so it will be closely monitored over the next 48 hours. 

Photo: Getty Images

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