Hurricane Lane: Hawaii braces for category four storm

  • Hurricane Lane: Hawaii braces for category four storm

Hurricane Lane: Hawaii braces for category four storm

Powerful Hurricane Lane weakened slightly as it swirls towards Hawaii but U.S. forecasters warn that its heavy rains and life-threatening winds still pose a major threat to the Pacific island chain.

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

It's not possible to know which islands will see the worst storm effects right now due to the close proximity of the hurricane track to the Hawaiian Islands and uncertainties in Lane's track caused by increasing wind shear through the atmosphere as it moves northward.

A hurricane warning was in effect for all Hawaii County and Maui county, including the islands of Maui, Lanai, Molokai and Kahoolawe.

While Lane's strength is expected to weaken slightly upon its approach to the Hawaiian islands, it was still expected to remain a unsafe hurricane.

Lane is only one of two category 5 hurricanes to pass within 350 miles of the state according to database records.

Rainfall of 20 inches (51 cm) in some areas could lead to major flash flooding, landslides and mudslides, the NHC said.

Hurricane lane will move close to the main Hawaiian islands
Image The hurricane will move very close to or over the islands between Thursday and Saturday

Life-threatening weather conditions can extend well away from the center of the hurricane and interests throughout Hawaii are urged to closely monitor the progress of Lane over the next few days.

At the time of writing, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has classified Lane as a potent Category 5 hurricane.

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 weather service adds that power outages will last for weeks to possibly months and most of an area hit by the hurricane will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.

Hawaii residents rushed to stores to stock up on bottled water, ramen, toilet paper and other supplies as they faced the threat of heavy rain, flash flooding and high surf as a powerful hurricane continued to churn toward the state.

As Lane is expected to be slow-moving as it nears the islands, it will produce large and damaging surf. Prepare yourself and your families for the potential effects of the storm. 'A lot of people are comparing the similarities between Iniki and Lane, ' he said. All pavilion and camping permits for these parks have been cancelled.

Public schools on the Big Island and in Maui County are closed Wednesday until further notice.