Hawaii prepares for powerful Hurricane Lane

Hawaii residents told to brace for 150mph winds and flash flooding from Hurricane Lane

On Tuesday morning, Lane was positioned 450 miles south-southeast of Kona, tracking west at 12 mph.

"A turn toward the northwest is expected on Wednesday, followed by a turn to the north-northwest on Thursday". Storm surge is also likely to be an issue, but which locations see surge, and how high it is, will depend on the exact track of the storm. Power outages will last for weeks to possibly months, and most of an area hit by a Category 5 hurricane will be uninhabitable for weeks or months, the weather service added. It's possible Oahu and Kauai may later be included in an advisory for the hurricane.

Heavy rainfall associated with Lane is expected to affect portions of the Hawaiian Islands from Wednesday into the weekend, leading to flash flooding and landslides.

Honolulu, the state's largest city and capital, is on the island of O'ahu. "Large and potentially damaging surf" will affect exposed shorelines facing the west, south and east, the NWS said.

With maximum sustained winds of 160 miles per hour, Lane was upgraded to the highest level on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale as it surged westerly across the Pacific Ocean toward the Big Island.

In other words, Lane is likely to maintain hurricane strength when it makes a close approach or direct strike on the Big Island on Thursday.

According to the latest forecast track, Lane is slated to remain a unsafe hurricane when its center moves very close or over parts of the state Thursday through Saturday.

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A hurricane watch means hurricane-force winds are possible within the area in the next 48 hours.

The long and short of it: It's still too soon to know the impacts, if any, the storm will have on any of the islands. Remember that life threatening weather conditions can extend well away from the center of the hurricane. It will weaken over the next few days but it will still be capable of causing catastrophic damage.

NASA satellite imagery shows Hurricane Lane in the Central Pacific Ocean southeast of the Hawaiian Islands at 2:01 p.m. local time, Monday, Aug. 20, 2018. Deep tropical moisture associated with Lane will spread across all islands.

"Regardless of what happens in the eye of the hurricane, there's going to be the potential for a lot of rain - 10-15 inches, perhaps even higher than that", Doll said.

But Klemetti does point out that there could be a threat of heavy rain "remobilizing some of the loose debris and ash" left in the recent lava flows.

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.

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