UPDATE: 11 p.m.
Hurricane Lane strengthened this evening and is expected to make a turn toward the Hawaiian islands later this week.
The category 4 hurricane is located about 500 miles southeast of Kailua-Kona and 670 miles southeast of Honolulu. Lane has maximum sustained winds near 150 mph, an increase from 130 earlier today.
A hurricane watch could be issued on Tuesday.
Lane is moving toward the west at 12 mph and this motion is expected to continue through Tuesday with some slowing in forward speed. A gradual turn toward the northwest is expected Wednesday into Thursday.
The Central Pacific Hurricane Center said “excessive rainfall associated with Lane could affect portions of the Hawaiian Islands from Wednesday into the weekend, leading to flash flooding and mud slides.”
Large swells generated by Lane will impact the state this week. Those swells will produce large and dangerous surf and strong currents.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 40 miles from the center and tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles.
Hurricane Lane remains a major hurricane and could be a threat to the Hawaiian islands later this week.
The category 4 hurricane is located about 515 miles southeast of Hilo and 720 miles southeast of Honolulu. Lane has maximum sustained winds of 130 mph and is moving toward the west near 12 mph.
The Central Pacific Hurricane Center said “heavy rainfall and possible flooding associated with Lane could affect portions of the state beginning later Wednesday.”
Lane’s motion is expected to continue for the next day or so with a turn toward the northwest on Wednesday. Some fluctuations in intensity are possible over the next 24 or 36 hours with a gradual weakening trend expected to begin afterward.
Large swells generated by Lane will be felt across the state this week. Those swells will produce large and dangerous surf and strong currents.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles from the center and tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles.
Hurricane Lane strengthened slightly into a Category 4 storm this morning as it remained on a path toward the Hawaiian islands.
“Interests in the main Hawaiian islands, and across the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, should continue to closely monitor the progress of Lane this week,” said forecasters with the Central Pacific Hurricane Center at 11 a.m.
Late this morning, Lane had 130 mph maximum sustained winds and higher gusts, and was 580 miles southeast of Hilo and 785 miles southeast of Honolulu, moving west at 12 mph. Hurricane-force winds extend up to 30 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend 125 miles.
The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale for Hawaii is a 1 to 5 categorization based on the hurricane’s intensity.
>> Tropical Storm: winds 39-73 mph
>> Category 1: winds 74-95 mph
>> Category 2: winds 96-110 mph
>> Category 3: winds 111-129 mph
>> Category 4: winds 130-156 mph
>> Category 5: winds 157 mph and up
A gradual turn toward the northwest is expected over the next few days, they said, adding that a weakening trend should begin on Tuesday.
Hawaii can expect large swells, and heavy rain and flooding later this week.
The current five-day forecast has Lane south of Oahu as a weakening hurricane on Friday and south of Kauai as a tropical storm on Saturday.
The National Weather Service in Honolulu warned of the impending impacts of the storm, noting that the forecast “indicates that the center of Hurricane Lane will pass south and southwest of the islands this week. As the impacts from a hurricane extend well away from the center, associated heavy rains are expected to impact the islands.”
“Regardless of the eventual track and intensity of Lane, an extremely moist and unstable air mass will move over the islands beginning around Wednesday, and will remain in place through the end of the week,” forecasters said. “This is expected to result in very heavy rainfall, potentially leading to flash flooding.” ‘
Hawaii County Civil Defense officials said as a result of the high surf that is reaching the island ahead of Lane, the following parks have been closed: Whittington, Punaluu, and Milolii Beach Parks, and all pavilion and camping permits for these parks have been cancelled.
Hurricane Lane is expected to take a Hurricane Iniki-like path northwest toward the Hawaiian islands Thursday through Saturday, forecasters said today.
Along the way, Hurricane Lane is expected to drench Hawaii island Tuesday and Oahu on Wednesday with Maui in between, said Vanessa Almanza, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
Many hurricanes following a track that takes them southwest of Hawaii island. But Hurricane Lane is expected to make a right turn Thursday through Saturday and follow a path similar to Hurricane Iniki, which devastated Kauai in September 1992.
The reason, according to Almanza, is “we have a high pressure system off to the northwest of us creating a ridge, which is anticipated to erode from the west. Instead of the hurricane going more westerly, it could go more northwesterly.”
Unlike Iniki, which was a Category 4 storm when it hit Kauai, Lane is forecast to weaken from its current Category 3 status, with 125 mph winds, to a Category 2 storm by Thursday and Category 1, with 90 mph winds, by Friday, as it veers northwest.
Still, forecasters are urging the public to be prepared for heavy rains and flooding and to keep abreast of storm updates throughout the week.
Maintaining strength overnight, Lane remains a Category 3 hurricane and a possible threat to the islands later this week.
“Based on the latest trends in the forecast, direct impacts on the islands appear to be increasingly likely,” Central Pacific Hurricane Center forecasters said at 5 a.m. today. “The latest trends in tropical cyclone wind speed probabilities also suggest that a tropical storm or hurricane watch may be needed for some parts of the island chain later today or tonight.”
Packing maximum sustained winds of 125 mph, Lane was about 615 miles southeast of Hilo and 825 miles southeast of Honolulu at 5 a.m. today and moving west at 14 mph, according to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center. Hurricane-force winds extend up to 30 miles from Lane’s center and tropical-storm-force winds extend up to 120 miles.
Although weather officials expect Lane to continue on a westward track today, they forecast the storm to take a turn toward the west-northwest late Tuesday with some weakening around the same time.
The latest 5-day forecast map for Lane shows the storm weakening but moving northwest by midweek, placing all islands from west Maui to Niihau in the track’s so-called “cone of uncertainty.”
The National Weather Service on Oahu issued a “hydrologic outlook” for Hawaii, saying that Lane could bring heavy rain and floods to the islands,
“Latest forecast models indicate that, regardless of the eventual track and intensity of Lane, an extremely moist and unstable air mass will move over the islands beginning around Wednesday, and will remain in place through the end of the week,” forecasters said. “This is expected to result in very heavy rainfall, potentially leading to flash flooding.”
The timing and location of the heavy rain remain uncertain, depending on Lane’s eventual track, but forecasters advise the public to stay informed and to be prepared.
In the meantime, Lane already is bringing high surf to the islands. Eastern shores of the Big Island and Maui are under a high surf advisory until 6 p.m. Tuesday, the National Weather Center said. Waves up to 8-feet are expected.
“Surf may increase to warning levels for east- and/or south-facing shores later Tuesday or Wednesday as Lane progresses westward south of the state,” they said.
Forecasters warn of strong breaking waves, shore break, and strong longshore and rip currents making.
In addition, Hawaiian offshore waters beyond 40 nautical miles out to 240 nautical miles, including the portion of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument east of French Frigate Shoals, are under a hurricane watch.
The waters around the Big Island are also under a tropical storm watch.