Hawaii braces for 'life threatening' hit from Hurricane Lane

Posted August 22, 2018

Hurricanes Dot and Iniki, as well as the majority of major hurricanes shown in NOAA's database reached their maximum intensity either far to the south or southeast of the islands.

Lane is moving toward the west-northwest near 9 miles per hour, a motion that is expected to continue tonight.

The U.S. Coast Guard is reminding the public to stay off the water when hurricane or tropical storm force winds are present, and to stay clear of beaches.

Hurricane Lane could bring rainfalls of close to half a metre. At 11 p.m.in Hawaii (5 a.m. EDT), forecasters said the hurricane was about 505 miles south-southeast of Honolulu and 350 miles south-southeast of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, moving west-northwest at 9 mph and packing 160 mph winds.

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The watch advisory covers Maui County, which includes the islands of Maui, Lanai, Molokai and Kahoolawe, and Hawai'i County on the Big Island.

As of Monday, the storm is about 600 miles (966 kilometers) southeast of Hilo on the Big Island, or about 800 miles (1,287 kilometers) from the state's capital city of Honolulu.

Large waves are already being experienced along the eastern edge of Hawaii, with a "sizable swell already propagating out from this storm, which is now impacting the eastern exposures throughout the Hawaiian Islands, showing strongest along the Hilo Side of the Big Island", according to Jonathan Warren, lead forecaster for Surfline.com.

In addition to strong winds, the primary threats will be rough surf, coastal erosion, and heavy rainfall, even if the center of the storm does not move directly over the islands. There is still considerable uncertainty on Lane's expect track beyond 48 hours but those in the Hawaiian Islands should keep a vigilant eye on Lane and follow the Central Pacific Hurricane Center for the latest details on the protection of life and property. On the forecast track, the center of Lane will pass close to Hawaii and Maui counties on Thursday and Thursday night.

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The forecast track will likely change some over the coming days as Lane interacts with the surrounding atmosphere and the impact from the friction that is caused as Lane nears the islands, namely the Big Island's mountains. Remember that life threatening weather conditions can extend well away from the center of the hurricane.

Eaton said Lane appears to be moving closer to the islands than Hector did when it went through the Pacific earlier this month. Deep tropical moisture associated with Lane will spread across all islands. "Hurricane Lane is not a well-behaved hurricane".

Tropical-storm-force winds could arrive on Wednesday in the Big Island, and in the smaller islands by Thursday or Friday.

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