HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hurricane Hector, a major storm in the Central Pacific, has maintained its strength as it continues churning closer to the islands.
A tropical storm warning is still in effect for the Big Island as Hurricane Hector moves westward as a strong Category 3 storm, bringing the threat of monster surf and strong winds on Wednesday.
A tropical storm warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected.
At 5 a.m. Wednesday, the storm was packing maximum sustained winds of 125 miles per hour, with occasional higher gusts.
On the current forecast track, the center of Hector is slated to pass 100 to 150 miles south of the Big Island on Wednesday. Forecasters note that hurricane-force winds extend up to 35 miles from the center of the storm, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 105 miles.
"Far northern fringes of the hurricane will brush the Big Island Wednesday," forecasters said in an update.
According to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center, the center of the hurricane was located about 240 miles south-southeast of Hilo, or 425 miles southeast of Honolulu. Any deviation northward could bring Hector close enough to impact the Big Island.
Big Island officials are taking precautions in advance of the storm nearing the state. The Mayor's office has issued an emergency proclamation for Hawaii Island.
The storm was moving west at roughly 16 mph.
Possible impacts to the islands include:
Surf: Swells generated by Hector are forecast to reach southeast and east shores of the Big Island and Maui late Tuesday.
A high surf warning has been issued for east-facing shores of Hawaii Island for 12-13 foot waves.
A high surf advisory has been issued for east-facing shores of Maui for 6-10 foot surf. Both are in effect through 6 p.m. Wednesday. Higher than usual tides will combine with the large surf to increase the threat of coastal inundation.
Wind: Tropical-storm-force winds (39 to 73 mph) are possible across the Big Island late Tuesday and Wednesday.
Rain: Rains from the deep tropical moisture surrounding Hector could affect the Puna and Kau Districts of Hawaii Island, and some of those rain showers may be locally heavy at times, especially on east and southeast-facing slopes.
Over the next few days, Hector is expected to gradually weaken.
This story will be updated.