Ignacio intensified to a major Category Four hurricane as it blew across the Pacific on a route likely to bypass Hawaii on Monday, the US Central Pacific Hurricane Center said.
Packing potentially destructive winds of 140 miles per hour (220 kph), the hurricane was about 450 miles (720 km) east of Big Island of Hawaii moving north-northwest at 9 miles per hour (15 kph), the center said.
"It will just pass by the islands," said the center's spokesman Neil Honda. "There might be some wind and surf."
With hurricane force winds extending 30 miles (45 km) from its center, waves as high as 20 feet (4 meters) could be expected on Sunday and Monday, along with sustained winds of 39 miles per hour (63 kph), he said.
On the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale, which measures potential property damage from a storm, hurricanes reaching Category 3 and higher are considered "major" hurricanes with a potential for significant loss of life and damage.
Ignacio is expected to weaken through Tuesday.