Dangerous Hurricane Lane is moving toward the main Hawaiian islands as a powerful Category 3 storm Friday. The hurricane could hit the isolated volcanic archipelago in the Central Pacific within 24 hours, and unleash torrential rain that may produce destructive flash floods and landslides over much of the island chain, along with coastal flooding, and high winds through Saturday.
This threat of extreme flooding could occur across most of the island chain was summed up succinctly by The Weather Channel hurricane expert Dr. Rick Knabb in a tweet late Thursday night.
In case anyone is celebrating the islands being outside the cone, consider: all islands on stronger, wetter side the whole time; a track just southwest enhances waves/surge onto south-facing shores; no change to risk of devastating floods and long-lasting power outages. #Lane— Dr. Rick Knabb (@DrRickKnabb) August 24, 2018
Meteorologists said Lane’s eye passed over a weather buoy about 250 miles southwest of the Big Island on Thursday morning and recorded winds that sustained +100 miles per hour.
NOAA: Dangerous Hurricane Lane Moving North Toward The Main Hawaiian Islands
“The slow movement of Lane also greatly increases the threat for prolonged heavy rainfall and extreme rainfall totals,” the Central Pacific Hurricane Center (CPHC) said. “This is expected to lead to major, life-threatening flash flooding and landslides over all Hawaiian Islands.”
“The center of Hurricane Lane was located near latitude 18.2 North, longitude 158.0 West. Lane is moving toward the north near 6 mph (9 km/h), and this general motion is expected to continue through Friday. A turn toward the west is anticipated Saturday, with an increase in forward speed. On the latest forecast track, the center of Lane will move over, or dangerously close to portions of the main Hawaiian islands late Friday and Friday night.
Maximum sustained winds are near 120 mph (195 km/h) with higher gusts. Lane remains a powerful category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some weakening is forecast from Friday through late Saturday, but Lane is expected to remain a hurricane as it approaches the islands.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles (55 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles (205 km). The estimated minimum central pressure is 956 mb (28.23 inches),” said the CPHC.
The CPHC also warned: “Excessive rainfall associated with this slow-moving hurricane will continue to impact the Hawaiian Islands into the weekend.”
“Lane is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 10 to 20 inches, with localized amounts of 30 to 40 inches possible over portions of the Hawaiian Islands. Over two feet of rain has already fallen at a few locations on the windward side of the Big Island.”
How are people reacting?
Extreme Meteorologist @accuweather, Reed Timmer, records flash flooding conditions in Hilo, Hawaii, above Rainbow Falls with already 20 inches of rainfall.
DANGEROUS flash flooding up from Hilo, HI above Rainbow Falls ahead of #HurricaneLane with 20" rainfall totals in higher terrain! Coverage for @accuweather @breakingweather #hiwx pic.twitter.com/AKKl1O72af— Reed Timmer (@ReedTimmerAccu) August 24, 2018
“SIGNIFICANT flood with flash flooding meeting the tide in Bay Front, Hilo, HI,” said Reed Timmer.
ABC News launched a drone on Friday morning to observe flooding conditions on Hawaii’s Big Island.
NBC compiles a montage of footage showing the severe flooding before Hurricane Lane arrives.
According to the center, as of late Thursday night local time, Lane was roughly 200 miles south of Honolulu and 165 miles southwest of Kailua-Kona, traveling north at 6 miles per hour with sustained winds roughly around 120 miles per hour.
“On the latest forecast track, the center of Lane will move over, or dangerously close to portions of the main Hawaiian islands late Friday and Friday night,” the center said. “Some weakening is forecast from Friday through late Saturday, but Lane is expected to remain a hurricane as it approaches the islands.”
NOAA: Earliest Reasonable Arrival Time of Tropical-Storm-Force Winds
According to the latest spaghetti model for Hurricane Lane, “GFS, HMON, and HWRF Hurricane models show a more north movement into Maui (which puts the western side of the Big Island on the ‘dirty’ side),” said Mikes Weather Page. The website said the EURO model is staying offshore, however, all eyes on Maui as it appears many models show a direct impact.