Hawaii residents on alert as Hurricane Lane gathers strength

Hawaii residents told to brace for 150mph winds and flash flooding from Hurricane Lane

Major Hurricane Lane, a Category 4 storm, is heading toward Hawaii, forecasters warn

State and county officials said they were bracing for damaging wind, power outages, flooding rain and unsafe surf as the National Weather Service called a hurricane warning for Hawaii island and a hurricane watch for Oahu, joining the islands of Maui County. The data was gathered from the NOAA P-3 aircraft.

A Hurricane Warning remains in effect for Hawaii Island.

On Tuesday morning, Lane was positioned 450 miles south-southeast of Kona, tracking west at 12 mph. The Category 4 hurricane is moving west-northwest at 9 miles per hour, the weather service said. A turn toward the NW is expected on Wednesday, followed by a turn to the NNW on Thursday.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric administration has been sending multiple aircraft into and around the storm in order to help observe the hurricane and improve the forecast, providing a better idea of the threat Lane presents to Hawaii.

Hurricanes rarely make landfall in Hawaii, as the Central Pacific does not see as many storms as the Atlantic or Eastern Pacific, and the Hawaiian Islands present a small target in the vast Pacific Ocean.

The latest track from the Central Pacific Hurricane Center has just about all the island chain inside the "Cone of Uncertainty". It's possible Oahu and Kauai may later be included in an advisory for the hurricane.

A hurricane warning means that hurricane conditions are expected within the warning area, and is issued 36 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds. These swells will produce large and potentially damaging surf along exposed west, south and east facing shorelines. Forecasters say it has a distinct, and impressive eye.

The "center of Lane will move very close to or over the main Hawaiian Islands from Thursday through Saturday", the weather service said in its forecast Tuesday night local time. But early indications showed that the south end of the island up to the western side would be taking the brunt of the storm. "It is important to remember, these impacts can extend far from the center".

"Hurricane Lane is a very serious storm that has potential to do damage and cause harm".

State offices on Hawaii Island and Maui will be closed Wednesday through Friday, as the governor announced that nonessential state employees in the two counties will be put on administrative leave. Deep tropical moisture associated with Lane will spread across all islands.

Hurricane Lane, 5-day forecast track., 6:30 p.m. 8.21.18.

NASA satellite imagery shows the hurricane is now in the Central Pacific Ocean southeast of the islands.

The Coast Guard on Tuesday advised people to stay clear of beaches.

Hurricane Lane could bring rainfalls of close to half a metre. It may take until the weekend for Lane to succumb to wind shear and weaken to a tropical storm.

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