Hurricane Lane, a Category 4 storm, is expected to make a dangerously close encounter with the Hawaiian Islands over the next several days.
The hurricane is about 500 miles southeast of Honolulu as of Wednesday morning. If the storm pursues more of a westerly course, it may just brush the islands.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 40 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles. Storm rainfall amounts of 10 to 15 inches with local amounts greater than 20 inches are possible.
CBS Honolulu affiliate KGMB-TV describes Hurricane Lane as a "massive and rare Category 5 Central Pacific cyclone". The last was Hurricane John in 1994.
The storm was packing maximum sustained winds of 160 miles (260 kilometres) per hour.
A hurricane watch is in effect for the Big Island and Maui as islanders brace for potential effects from Hurricane Lane.
For those on the islands, larger ocean swells will be impacting the beaches before the storm hits. These swells will produce large and potentially damaging surf along exposed west, south and east facing shorelines.
The National Park Service says Pu'uhonua o Hōnaunau and Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Parks will be closed Wednesday and Thursday in anticipation of high surf, heavy winds, and rain.
According to the latest forecast track, Lane is slated to remain a risky hurricane when its center moves very close or over parts of the state Thursday through Saturday.
The latest forecast model indicates Lane will remain a very strong, and risky storm and will maintain on its current track through tonight, turning further northwest Wednesday.
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. It is too early to predict which, if any, of the islands are directly impacted. Theres uncertainty to Lanes path whether it moves north or south, meteorologist Gavin Shigesato said.
But the hurricane center said the storm will move very close to or over the islands from Thursday through Saturday. Deep tropical moisture associated with Lane will spread across all islands.
Hurricane Lane is a Category 5 storm on Wednesday morning.
Hurricane Lane satellite imagery., 5 p.m. 8.21.18.
Tropical-storm-force winds could arrive on Wednesday in the Big Island, and in the smaller islands by Thursday or Friday.
Lane is likely to maintain impressive strength for the next 24-36 hours, although it may weaken some during that time.
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