Walaka racing toward Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, still a Cat 4 hurricane

The cyclone poses no threat to the main Hawaiian Islands.

Walaka racing toward Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, still a Cat 4 hurricane
Hurricane Walaka remains a powerful Category 4 storm as it barrels toward the northwestern Hawaiian Islands. (Source: Vorsino, Mary)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hurricane Walaka is still a dangerous Category 4 storm as it races toward the Papahanaumokua Marine National Monument in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands.

Walaka's latest forecast track from the Central Pacific Hurricane Center.
Walaka's latest forecast track from the Central Pacific Hurricane Center. (Source: NOAA)

The Central Pacific Hurricane Center said at 5 a.m. Wednesday that Walaka was packing maximum sustained winds near 140 miles per hour with higher gusts.

Forecasters said the hurricane is moving to the north-northeast at 17 miles per hour. It was already 200 miles north of Johnston Island, where a hurricane warning was discontinued Wednesday morning.

Four U.S. scientists were evacuated from the wildlife refuge and former U.S. military base.

Walaka is still a massive storm. Hurricane force winds extend 45 miles from the center, while tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 205 miles.

While Hurricane Walaka is not expected to have a direct impact on Hawaii weather, forecast models show a rain band trailing from the cyclone late in the week that could come close to Kauai.

There’s also a chance that it will draw more tropical moisture from the south.

Hurricane Walaka remains a powerful Category 4 storm as it barrels toward Johnston Atoll.
Hurricane Walaka remains a powerful Category 4 storm as it barrels toward Johnston Atoll. (Source: Central Pacific Hurricane Center)

This story will be updated.

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