Published: Thu, August 23, 2018
Research | By Francis Brooks

Tracking Lane: Major hurricane targets Hawaiian Islands

Tracking Lane: Major hurricane targets Hawaiian Islands

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.

Longtime Hawaii residents were reminded of the destruction caused by Hurricane Iniki in 1992, which according to Hawaii News Now, made landfall on Kauai island in September of that year as a Category 4 storm with 145 miles per hour winds. Roofs and walls will collapse, and the winds will knock down trees and power pole.

The latest long-range forecast places Lane within about 40 miles of Oʻahu on its closest approach on Friday afternoon (2 p.m.), August 24, as a Category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained winds near 85 mph. But the center of the storm, carrying maximum winds of around 160 miles per hour (257 km/h), is expected to move "dangerously close" to the main Hawaiian Islands Thursday through Saturday (Aug. 23 to Aug. 25), according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 40 miles and tropical-storm-force winds up to 140 miles from the center, the weather service said.

Islanders are being warned the unsafe Category 4 storm could bring winds with a maximum sustained speed of 150mph and flash flooding as early as Thursday. Bands of intense showers and thunderstorms will reach the Big Island as early as late tonight or tomorrow morning.

A high surf warning is also in effect until 6 a.m. Friday for south-facing shores of Hawaii Island. "Hawaii wasn't even a state when Dot made landfall in 1959, so that's... the collective muscle memory is not there on the Hawaiian Islands in terms of how those all compare in terms of paths". All after-school activities statewide are canceled for the rest of the week.

Residents are stocking up on essentials and have been remembering how Hawaii was hit by a devastating hurricane in 1992.

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Gov. David Ige (D) said he will allow nonessential state employees on the Big Island and Maui to go on administrative leave through Friday.

Computer models mostly do not predict the storm to make a direct hit on the islands, which would be the worst-case scenario.

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.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell urged residents to be prepared and check on their neighbors, as well.

With the storm's impending arrival, Judy Donovan, spokeswoman for Kona Community and Kohala hospitals, said staff has been working to ensure both facilities are ready should people need care.

"The center of Lane will track dangerously close to the islands Thursday through Saturday", the advisory said.

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