Tourists in Hawaii may be in for an adventure as Hurricane Lane that has strengthened into a Category 5 storm rolls toward Hawaii, just two weeks after Hurrican Hector passed the island.
Hurricane rarely make landfall in Hawaii, as the Central Pacific does not see as many storms as the Atlantic or Eastern Pacific, and the Hawaiian Islands present a small target in the vast Pacific Ocean.
Only four named storms — two hurricanes and two tropical storms — have made landfall in Hawaii since 1959. Even close calls are somewhat rare, with Hawaii getting a named storm within 60 miles of its coastline about once every four years on average, CNN reports.
But Hurricane Lane looks poised to affect the Aloha State, and was about 480 miles southeast of Honolulu early Wednesday with maximum sustained winds of 160 mph, just above the Category 5
“A turn toward the northwest is expected on Wednesday, followed by a turn to the north-northwest on Thursday. On the forecast track, the centre of Lane will move very close to or over the main Hawaiian Islands from Thursday through Saturday,” the weather service said.
A hurricane warning is in effect for Hawaii county while a hurricane watch has been issued for Maui County.
A hurricane warning means that hurricane conditions are expected within the warning area, and is issued 36 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds.
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The Central Pacific Hurricane Center had predicted that excessive rainfall associated with Lane could affect portions of the Hawaiian Islands from Wednesday into the weekend, leading to flash floods and mudslides. Depending on the direction of the storm more dangerous situations may be in the forecast for Hawaii.
Even if the storm has fewer effects it’s always better for our visitors to be safe than sorry, eTN publisher Juergen Steinmetz said.
Tourists and residents should know:
- Determine how best to protect yourself from high winds and flooding.
- Evacuate if told to do so.
- Take refuge in a designated storm shelter, or an interior room for high winds.
- Listen for emergency information and alerts.
- Only use generators outdoors and away from windows.
- Turn Around, Don’t Drown! Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood water
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