Published: Thu, August 23, 2018
Sci-tech | By Jackie Newman

Hurricane Lane hurtling toward Hawaii

Hurricane Lane hurtling toward Hawaii

Tropical storm-force winds and torrential rain could start arriving on Wednesday.

A major hurricane is heading west in the Central Pacific toward Hawaii.

The weather service says that in a Category 5 hurricane, a high percentage of framed homes will be destroyed.

Hurricane Lane has weakened as it approaches Hawaii but was still expected to pack a wallop, forecasters said Wednesday.

- Excessive rainfall is possible which could lead to major flash flooding, landslides and mudslides.

Although any year can bring warmer waters to a marine region, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and university scientists published research last year arguing that the tropical Pacific will likely see more "extremely active" hurricane seasons as human-caused global warming boosts ocean temperatures. "Tropical storm conditions are possible within the Hurricane Watch area beginning Thursday into Thursday night, with hurricane conditions possible late Thursday night into Friday".

The US Central Pacific Hurricane Center on Wednesday downgraded Hurricane Lane to a Category 4, the second-strongest on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale of wind intensity. Honolulu, the state's largest city and capital, is on the island of O'ahu.

After hitting the Big Island, the storm is expected to churn north over the islands of Maui, Lanai and Moloka'i, which were all under hurricane and flash flood watches.

Smog, smoke prompt Spare the Air alert for Sunday
Those who typically walk or jog to work are advised to consider taking a bus or Skytrain instead until the air quality improves. The station in Ellensburg reports "very unhealthy" levels of air pollution.

On Tuesday, Hawaii residents scrambled to prepare for the storm's arrival.

Residents are stocking up on essentials are they prepare for Lane to reach Hawaii.

10 to 15 inches of rain, with isolated amounts greater than 20 inches is expected over the Hawaiian Islands starting Wednesday night.

Gov. David Ige signed an emergency proclamation Tuesday to "provide relief for disaster damages, losses and suffering" caused by the hurricane. In fact, only twice in recorded history (most recently Iniki in 1992) has a hurricane made direct landfall on any island.

County of Kauai officials continue to monitor Hurricane Lane, and are urging the public to get prepared and remain vigilant over the next 48 hours as any shift to Lane's track could result in severe weather impacts. Note that the strands are clustered together where the forecast track is most confident, but they diverge where the course of the storm is less certain.

Lane may weaken even further - to Category 3 - by Thursday afternoon and even fall to a Category 2 by Friday with winds up to 110 miles per hour and its center west of Hawaii Island and south of Honolulu. In 2014, two hurricanes appeared ready to hit Hawaii with a one-two punch, the Associated Press reported at the time.

"But I remember the wind being the strongest force of nature I've ever witnessed and probably the scariest sounds I've ever heard in my life".

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