Published: Thu, August 23, 2018
Sci-tech | By Javier West

Hurricane Lane grows to category 5 as it heads toward Hawaii

Hurricane Lane grows to category 5 as it heads toward Hawaii

Lane is forecast to move dangerously close to the main Hawaiian Islands as a hurricane later this week, potentially bringing damaging winds and life-threatening flash flooding from heavy rainfall.

UPDATE: #Lane is officially a unsafe category 5 storm with maximum sustained winds of 160mph.

The hurricane was about 490 kilometers south of Kailua-Kona and moving northwest toward other islands.

A hurricane warning issued Tuesday evening remains in effect for Hawaii County.

The hurricane, which is forecast to begin pummeling the islands later today (Aug. 22), has already prompted the governor of Hawaii to declare a state of emergency.

Lane may weaken even further - to Category 3 - by Thursday afternoon and even fall to a Category 2 by Friday with winds up to 110 miles per hour and its center west of Hawaii Island and south of Honolulu.

Typically, the high will be strong enough to deflect tropical storms and hurricanes south of the Hawaiian Islands as we most recently saw when Hurricane Hector passed south of the islands.

The center said Lane's heavy rain and strong winds could bring heavy swells, flash flooding and landslides. "I urge our residents and visitors to take this threat seriously and prepare for a significant impact".

The hurricane is, fortunately for Hawaii residents, not expected to make landfall on the islands, though it is expected to pass within 50-60 miles on its closest approach. It declares counties of "Hawai'i, Maui, Kalawao, Kaua'i and the City and County of Honolulu disaster areas for the objective of implementing emergency management functions", his office said.

Gavin Shigesato, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Honolulu, said Tuesday that tropical storm conditions are possible beginning tonight, with hurricane conditions possible on Thursday.

Winds and flooding may make locations uninhabitable for weeks and authorities warned residents to be prepared to evacuate their homes.

A Hurricane Warning has been issued for the Big Island, a Hurricane Watch has been issued for O'ahu and Maui County. A hurricane watch was in effect for Oahu and Kauai.

A hurricane watch has been posted for Maui Counties and Hawaii Island.

So far, Maui County is the first to announce it will be opening shelters starting Wednesday at 2 p.m. Iselle was a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 140 miles per hour before weakening into a tropical storm at landfall.

Lane was about 505km south of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, at 5am Hawaii time, U.S. forecasters said.

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