(Recasts with Ignacio weakening to Category 3, Jimena strengthening, and new storm locations)
Aug 30 (Reuters) - Ignacio lessened in intensity but was still a major Category 3 hurricane as it blew across the Pacific on a route likely to bypass Hawaii on Monday, the U.S. Central Pacific Hurricane Center said.
Packing potentially destructive winds of 115 miles per hour (185 km per hour), the hurricane was about 400 miles (645 km) east of the Big Island of Hawaii moving north-northwest at 12 mph (19 kph), the center said.
“It will just pass by the islands,” the center’s spokesman, Neil Honda, said. “There might be some wind and surf.”
With hurricane-force winds extending 30 miles (45 km) from the storm’s center, waves as high as 20 feet (4 meters) could be expected on Sunday and Monday, along with sustained winds of 39 mph (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.
Hawaii officials urged residents to prepare in case the storm alters its path and hits the island.
Governor David Ige signed an emergency proclamation on Friday freeing up funds for disaster relief and allowing the suspension of certain laws that could impede “emergency functions.”
Farther away than Ignacio, Hurricane Jimena in the Pacific Ocean about 1,630 miles (2,625 km) east of the Big Island of Hawaii was moving to the west-northwest at a speed of 15 miles an hour (24 kph), according to the National Weather Service.
The Category 4 hurricane with winds of 145 mph (233 kph) poses no immediate threat to land, according to the Weather Service. It is expected to remain a major hurricane through Monday. (Reporting by David Adams in Miami and Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Clelia Oziel, Lisa Shumaker and Leslie Adler)