Hurricane Lane, a unsafe Category 4 storm, headed toward Hawaii

Locally over 3 inches of rainfall is possible in parts of Pennsylvania and western New York

Islanders are being warned the risky Category 4 storm could bring winds with a maximum sustained speed of 150mph and flash flooding as early as Thursday.

The storm's central pressure dropped as low as 929 millibars, making it the most intense hurricane (as measured by pressure) since Patricia in 2015 in the eastern half of the northern Pacific Ocean. Hurricane lane is passing to the South-Southeast of the Big Island tonight and is expected to begin a turn Northwest toward the islands later today. It must be ready for winds of more than 100 miles per hour, rain between 10 to 16 inches and high surf on the south shore.

But forecast models are indicating that Lane will turn in a more northerly direction by Wednesday, which will bring the center of Lane very close to Hawaii and Maui counties on Thursday, the Hurricane Center said.

Lane was about 315 miles (505 km) south of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, at 5 a.m. Hawaii time, USA forecasters said. Heavy rains and floods are a significant threat, regardless of how close Lane comes to land.

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. It's possible Oahu and Kauai may later be included in a weather service advisory for the hurricane.

"Slow weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours, but Lane is forecast to remain a unsafe hurricane as it draws closer to the Hawaiian Islands". It briefly attained Category 5 intensity Tuesday night and early Wednesday before gradual weakening commenced.

Maui County and Big Island schools will be closed starting Wednesday, the state Department of Education said.




Kauai bore the brunt of Iniki in 1992, and that storm is top of mind for residents preparing to weather Lane in the coming days.

As such, this was only the second time in recorded history that a Category 5 hurricane came within 350 miles of the state - the first one being Hurricane John in 1994 - the National Weather Service said.

The combination of a deep moist unstable layer and strong low level wind shear along and to the east of the track of Lane will make tornadoes and large waterspouts a distinct possibility in the rainbands across the right semicircle of the hurricane. This is where the wind will be strongest and the rain to be heaviest if the forecast track doesn't change.

A hurricane watch has been posted for Maui Counties and Hawaii Island.

He said: "A lot of people are comparing the similarities between Iniki and Lane".

"I remember how very little rain fell".

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