A hurricane warning has been issued for Hawaiʻi and Maui Counties as Hurricane Lane continues to move towards the state as a powerful Category 4 storm. A hurricane warning means hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the specified area within 36 hours. A hurricane watch is still in effect for Honolulu and Kauaʻi counties. A hurricane watch means that hurricane conditions are possible for the area within 48 hours.
At 5:00 AM Wednesday, Lane weakened slightly - becoming a Category 4 storm, and has a maximum sustained winds near 155 mph with higher gusts. Forecasters say it has a distinct, and impressive eye. Lane was centered 315 miles south of Kailua-Kona, and moving west northwest at 9 mph. Forecasters say hurricane-force winds will extend 40 miles from the center, while tropical-storm force winds can be felt 140 miles from the eye.
The latest forecast model indicates Lane will remain a very strong, and dangerous storm. According to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center, Lane started to turn to the west-northwest on last night. Forecasters expect it to turn northwest and then to the north-northwest tomorrow, bringing it "dangerously close" to the island chain. Weather officials say Lane can bring 10 - 15 inches of rain in some spots, but may be higher in other areas. Rain of this magnitude raises the risk of flash flooding and landslides.
However, weather officials say Lane will weaken over the next 48 hours as it nears the state.
The National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch for all islands in anticipation of the heavy rainfall. The watch will go into effect from tomrrow (Wednesday) morning through Friday afternoon. A high surf warning is also in effect for south-facing shores for Hawaiʻi Island, and a high surf advisory is in effect for south-facing shores for the rest of the state.
The U.S. Coast Guard is reminding the public to stay off the water when hurricane or tropical storm force winds are present, and to stay clear of beaches. Boat owners are also advised to secure their belongings.
State and County Emergency Management Agency officials are urging residents to stay up-to-date and prepare for Hurricane Lane. Click here to see what you should have in your disaster kit. Officials are also advising residents to prepare their homes for a hurricane. You can click here to see how to prepare your home.
Below are the contact information for the state and county Emergency Management Agencies:
Hawaiʻi State Emergency Management Agency
(808) 733 -4300
Kauaʻi Emergency Management
(808) 241 - 1800
Honolulu Emergency Management
Maui County Emergency Management
(808) 270 - 7285
Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense
(808) 935 - 0031