Hurricane Lane Strengthens To Category Five, Updated Closures

Terry Joseph
August 22, 2018

A hurricane watch is in effect for the Big Island and Maui as islanders brace for potential effects from Hurricane Lane.

Beyond its wind strength, the storm was also expected to be a rainmaker through the weekend, bringing the risk of flooding and landslides. These swells will produce large and potentially damaging surf along exposed south and west facing shorelines.

While hurricanes and tropical storms frequently roam close to the islands, direct hits are rare.

WIND: Tropical storm conditions are expected within the Hurricane Warning area beginning late Wednesday night into early Thursday morning, with hurricane conditions expected somewhere within the warning area on Thursday.

"This isn't Florida. The landscape and infrastructure are different".

Hawaii residents are stocking up on bottled water, ramen and toilet paper as a strengthening hurricane makes its way west to the state. "If the storm were to make a significant impact on the island of Oahu, in particular, it could cause flooding at Honolulu International Airport, the oil refinery at Barbers Point, and several large military installations, including Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam", it noted.

Hurricane Lane, a major storm approaching Hawaii, is shown here in a NASA photograph taken on August 16, 2018.

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The Hurricane Center urged residents of Hawaii to prepare for the storm. The hurricane is about 500 miles (804 kilometers) southeast of Honolulu.

Hurricane Lane is now about 450 miles south-southeast of Kaliua Kona, which is on the west side of the Big Island, or about 620 miles southeast of Honolulu, according to Leigh Anne Eaton, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service Honolulu Forecast Office. Over the next day, the storm is predicted to turn more to the north, but how sharply is the critical question. Tropical storms, on the other hand, sweep by the islands much more regularly, frequently as the dying remnants of a more-intense system from the eastern Pacific.

Slight weakening is expected during the next couple of days, but Lane is forecast to remain a unsafe hurricane as it draws closer to the Hawaiian Islands.

Further warnings about the hurricane are expected to be issued in the coming 24 to 48 hours.

However, the storm has attained an annular structure, meaning its large eye is surrounded by a single, uniform ring of thunderstorms. Remember that life threatening weather conditions can extend well away from the center of the hurricane.

The gas lines were long at Costco in Kahului on Tuesday as Hurricane Lane approached the Hawaiian Islands. By the end of the week, Lane should experience increasing shear and more rapidly weaken.

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