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Will Hurricane Hector Interact with Kīlauea?

by Daphne Thompson, on Aug 2, 2018 2:30:35 PM

Hurricane Hector formed today as a Category 1 storm and is expected to be a major hurricane by this weekend. Hector's forecasted path could bring it very near the Hawaiian islands. The combination of an erupting Kīlauea and the rain from a tropical storm could make things quite interesting for those living on the eastern coast of the Big Island.

Hurricane Hector Satellite Loop

While it has been quiet in the Atlantic, the Eastern Pacific is cranking out disturbances, tropical storms, and hurricanes on a regular basis. Hector marks the 8th named storm in that part of the world. While still a ways off from the Hawaiian islands, you can see that the WeatherOps forecast path has it starting to curve WNW over the coming days. It is currently expected to max out as a strong Category 3 storm as it moves into slightly cooler sea surface temperatures.

Forecast Path for Hector

Model forecasts are mostly in agreement with the northwesterly turn. Extended models show Hector moving either near the southern coast of the Island of Hawaii or just to the north where it would approach Maui.

Model Tracks for Hector

Looking at a model loop for the coming two weeks, you can see Hector racing off to the NW in the lower left corner. Two more tropical storms then show up. As the smaller one dances around the larger, it is absorbed in what is known as the Fujiwhara Effect. Then another storm skates across the screen in a similar path to our current hurricane. However, long-range models are not yet exact enough to accurately forecast that far in advance.

GFS Forecast Model Loop

Anyone with vacation plans to Hawaii over the next week needs to make sure to pay attention to the weather forecast. If you have plans to view Kīlauea in the coming days you need to be aware that rain mixing with volcanic gasses can lead to acid rain. And if you are interested in the forecast for the rest of the hurricane season, sign up for our mid-season hurricane forecast webinar today.