Hurricane Uleki, a "very dangerous and potent" storm with wind near its center gusting to 145 mph, sat within striking distance of the Hawaiian Islands on Saturday, the National Weather Service said.

"Because it is so close to the Hawaiian islands and because of the high level of uncertainty over its future movement, everyone should closely monitor the latest advisories," said meteorologist Hans Rosendal.Uleki had been moving to the west, far south of the islands, until Friday, when it changed course toward the north and then stalled.

At 2 a.m. (8 a.m. EDT), the hurricane had maximum sustained wind of 115 mph and was 340 miles south-southwest of Honolulu. The storm had weakened slightly since Friday night.

Forecasters predicted Uleki would remain nearly stationary or drift northward for some time with little change in strength.