Hurricane Lane Upgraded To Category 4, Poses Threat To Hawaii

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Hurricane Lane, which is currently hundreds of miles southeast of Hawaii, is predicted to take a turn back toward the islands later in the week.

Warnings have been issued for certain counties in Hawaii, including the Big Island, Maui, Lanai, and Molokai. The Central Pacific Hurricane Center has stated there will likely be high winds, heavy rains, dangerous surf, and flooding along the coast.

At this stage, the center of Lane is approximately 400 miles off the coast of the Big Island’s Kona shores, but it is heading west. The hurricane’s winds are at approximately 150 mph.

Subtropical high pressure to the north of Lane is currently steering the hurricane, and even minor changes in wind speed and direction could drastically change the impact the storm will have on the islands. As reported by The Weather Channel, it is being predicted that once Lane hits the edges of the subtropical high pressures, it will be steered northwest beginning early Wednesday morning. It is thought that the hurricane will then make another turn later in the week to head west.

The other high-pressure system is sitting northwest of Hawaii, leaving the islands in the weak spot between the two systems.

The most important factor will be when these two turns occur, and how sharp the turns are, as their proximity to the islands will dictate their impact on Hawaii.

Wind speeds of the hurricane have increased in the last 24 hours, up from 130 mph to 150 mph, and it’s only as the storm approaches Hawaii that the wind shear will potentially increase to lower the intensity of the hurricane.

Warm waters around Hawaii and the wind shear conditions are expected to allow Hurricane Lane to remain a Category 4 hurricane with wind speeds of at least 115 mph by the time it reaches the vicinity of the islands. The timing of the wind shear kicking in will have a significant impact on the effects the hurricane will have on land.

The Big Island is expected to get the heaviest rain on Wednesday, with Maui County and Oahu under heavy rainfall on Thursday, and Kauai on Friday.

If Lane does make landfall, the sorm will do so between Thursday and Saturday. The predicted trajectory of the storm will either result in a near-miss for Hawaii or a direct hit.