Hurricane Lane grows to category 5 as it heads toward Hawaii

Muriel Hammond
August 22, 2018

Hawaii residents are bracing for "life threatening" winds and flooding when Hurricane Lane hits the U.S. islands this week, potentially uprooting trees and causing rivers to overflow their banks, according to the National Weather Service.

The National Weather Service issued a hurricane watch at 5:30 a.m. Tuesday that includes Maui County with Hurricane Lane expected to turn toward the Hawaiian Islands later this week and "come dangerously close to or over the islands".

More hurricane watches were expected to be issued for other Hawaiian islands, said the Honolulu-based hurricane center.

The center said Lane's heavy rain and strong winds could bring heavy swells, flash flooding and landslides. "As Lane is expected to be slow-moving as it nears the islands, it will produce large and damaging surf, mainly along exposed south and west facing shores", it added.

The Category 4 storm is expected to cause widespread destruction when it makes landfall later this week.

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

Later Tuesday, Ige signed the statewide prolamation that declares the counties of Hawaii, Maui, Kalawao, Kauai and the City and County of Honolulu disaster areas for the objective of implementing emergency management functions.

It is not certain what Hurricane Lane's path will be - whether it moves north or south.

The hurricane could hit the Big Island as early as Wednesday afternoon and move through the rest of the islands to Kauai until Thursday evening, Eaton said.

Hawaii Public Radio has a rundown of emergency phone numbers and guides for Hawaii residents preparing for the storm.

Hurricane Watches are in effect for the eastern half of the island chain, meaning hurricane-force winds are possible near the area within 48 hours.

As of 8 a.m. today, Lane was about 420 miles south-southeast of Hilo, 450 miles south-southeast of Kailua-Kona and 390 miles south-southeast of South Point.

Iniki's turn into the islands was sudden, he recalled. Remember that life threatening weather conditions can extend well away from the center of the hurricane. Just 4 percent of hurricanes and typhoons are annular, and they are known for their staying power, weakening more slowly under unfavorable conditions compared with conventional storms.

Even if the center of Lane doesn't make landfall, the islands could be walloped with rain and wind. By the end of the week, Lane should experience increasing shear and more rapidly weaken.

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