Tracking Lane: Major hurricane targets Hawaiian Islands

10 September, 2018, 10:56 | Author: Tara Reeves
  • Hurricane Lane 5-day forecast track. 11 p.m

"It is much too early to confidently determine which, if any, of the main Hawaiian Islands will be directly impacted by Lane", the Hurricane Center said.

The National Weather service reported that Hurricane Lane is passing to the south-southeast of the Big Island this morning and is expected to make a turn toward the islands Wednesday into Thursday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 155 miles per hour (250 kph) with higher gusts.

"We've been very fortunate", he said. It was unclear when the system would make an expected turn west and barrel toward the island chain.

The storm's path was possible due to a weakened "subtropical ridge", a band of high pressure that typically shields the Hawaiian Islands from tropical storms.

Stores along Waikiki's glitzy Kalakaua Avenue stacked sandbags along the bottom of their glass windows to prepare for flash flooding. Large swells along the coast will also be an issue into early next week; rip currents, damaging surf, and beach erosion are all concerns.

The forecast track and intensity of Lane is uncertain, and even slight changes to track and intensity will make a difference in minor/major impacts. In Kona, on the Big Island, it cautioned that at least 4 to 8 inches of rain could fall and that winds could exceed tropical-storm force (39 mph). The next closest storm of such strength to approach the islands was John in 1994.

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But Hawaii is no stranger to storms: Hurricane Hector brought harsh weather just two weeks ago, while Hurricane Iniki caused more than a billion dollar's worth of damage in 1992. Hawaii County remains under a hurricane warning, and Oahu under a hurricane watch.

The storm's central pressure dropped as low as 929 millibars, making it the most intense hurricane (as measured by pressure) since Patricia in 2015 in the eastern half of the northern Pacific Ocean.

Residents can find information about how to prepare here.

Major Hurricane Lane strengthened into a Category 5 hurricane overnight, becoming only the second Cat 5 on record to pass within 350 miles of Honolulu, joining Hurricane John from back in 1994.

Lane is now at Category 4 strength but is expected to weaken gradually as it turns northwestward near the Hawaiian Islands. "After this point, the track and intensity forecast become increasingly uncertain, as a bulk of the model guidance is depicting interaction between Lane and the terrain of the islands". Notice how they are largely clustered to the south and southeast of the state.

All public and charter schools in Hawaii and Maui counties will be closed Wednesday ahead of the anticipated arrival of Hurricane Lane.

It is only the sixth storm to reach Category 5 intensity in the Central Pacific on record, joining Patsy (1959), Emilia (1994), Gilma (1994), John (1994) and Ioke (2006).

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