Hurricane watch issued for Hawaii, Maui counties as Lane nears state

Federico Mansilla
Agosto 21, 2018

Senior Honolulu forecaster Tom Birchard said the watch for Hurricane Lane has been issued for the island of Hawaii and Maui County, which includes the island of Maui and other smaller islands. Watches may be extended to the western islands, the Hurricane Center said. Beyond its wind strength, the storm was also expected to be a rainmaker through the weekend, bringing the risk of flooding and landslides. These swells will produce large and potentially damaging surf along exposed south and west facing shorelines.

While hurricanes and tropical storms frequently roam close to the islands, direct hits are rare. In fact, only twice in recorded history (most recently Iniki in 1992) has a hurricane made direct landfall on any island.

"This isn't Florida. The landscape and infrastructure are different".

Hurricane Watches have been issued for Hawaii and Maui counties, in the eastern part of the islands.

In addition, large swells generated by Lane will impact the Hawaiian Islands this week. 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.

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The Hurricane Center urged residents of Hawaii to prepare for the storm. The storm was tracking west at 9 miles per hour. Over the next day, the storm is predicted to turn more to the north, but how sharply is the critical question. If the storm pursues more of a westerly course, it may just brush the islands.

"Slight weakening is expected during the next couple of days, but Lane is forecast to remain a unsafe hurricane as it draws closer to the Hawaiian Islands", forecasters said. "Even if the center of Lane were to remain offshore, it is important to remember that impacts from a hurricane can extend well away from the center". Lane is an extremely strong Category 4 hurricane, bordering on Category 5, with maximum sustained winds of 155 miles an hour.

However, the storm has attained an annular structure, meaning its large eye is surrounded by a single, uniform ring of thunderstorms.

Hurricane Lane poses a "potential threat to life and property", according to the NWS, and "efforts to protect property should now be underway".

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