Hurricane watch issued for Hawaii, Maui counties as Lane nears state

by Fredrick Graves August 22, 2018, 23:42
Hurricane watch issued for Hawaii, Maui counties as Lane nears state

Lane could become the first hurricane to directly make landfall in Honolulu since Hawaii became a state, Axios reported.

In an update at 11pm HST, the National Weather Service said: "Due to the large uncertainty in the future track and intensity of Lane, all interests in the Hawaiian islands should continue to monitor the future progress of this system".

As of Monday, the storm is about 600 miles (966 km) southeast of Hilo on the Big Island, or about 800 miles (1,287 km) from the state's capital city of Honolulu. "The latest trends in tropical cyclone wind speed probabilities also suggest that a Tropical Storm or Hurricane Watch may be needed for some parts of the island chain later today or tonight". But forecast models are indicating that Lane will turn in a more northerly direction by Wednesday, which will bring the center of Lane very close to Hawaii and Maui counties on Thursday, the Hurricane Center said.

Birchard says Hawaii residents could be slammed with heavy rain, flash flooding and high surf even if the center doesn't reach the islands.

Devastation caused by winds and flooding may make locations uninhabitable for weeks and authorities warned Hawaii residents to be prepared to evacuate their homes.

"The seriousness of the worst-case possibilities with Lane, and the rarity of the situation, call for an especially high level of preparation and vigilance among all Hawaiians", Weather Underground said, adding that the storm was heading towards "a potentially devastating encounter" with the state.

At 5 p.m., Lane was 1,405 miles east-southeast of Hilo with maximum sustained winds of 120 mph.

Landfalling hurricanes are very rare in Hawaii, as the Central Pacific does not normally see as many storms as the Atlantic or Eastern Pacific, and the Hawaiian Islands present a very small target in the vast Pacific Ocean.

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While tropical storms and hurricanes regularly roam in the waters nearby Hawaii, direct effects from storms as intense as Lane are unusual and its population is not well-accustomed to them.

Hurricane-force winds extend 40 miles from the center of the storm, while tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles.

Another hurricane is threatening to impact Hawaii this week, as unsafe Category 4 Hurricane Lane approaches the Central Pacific island chain just two weeks after Hurricane Hector passed the islands.

The National Weather Service makes predictions based on more than a dozen forecast models, and majority show Lane weakening due to wind shear and cooler water temperatures, eventually passing south of Hawaii.

On Tuesday night, the National Weather Service announced that Hurricane Lane had become a Category 5 hurricane, which means that it is likely to cause catastrophic damage with winds 157 miles per hour or above.

This NASA file image obtained August 20, 2018 shows Hurricane Lane when NASAs Aqua satellite passed overhead in mid-August 2018.

Hurricane Lane is a major hurricane which is moving across the Pacific Ocean towards Hawaii.

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