Hurricane Lane now a Category 4, continues towards Hawaii

Hurricane Lane tropical storm force wind probabilities. 5 p.m

Hurricane Lane tropical storm force wind probabilities. 5 p.m

CBS News weather producer David Parkinson said Lane is already much closer than Hurricane Hector, which reached Category 4 as it brushed south of Hawaii earlier this month.

The storm, which was moving west-northwest near 9 miles per hour (15 km/h), was expected to turn toward the northwest on Wednesday, followed by a turn to the north-northwest on Thursday, the center said.

"We are starting to see some of the rain show up on the Big Island radar", she said.

The National Weather Service issued a hurricane warning Tuesday evening for the Big Island (Hawaii island). Rain of this magnitude raises the risk of flash flooding and landslides.

Hurricane Lane is now at Category 5, the National Weather Service said Tuesday, as the storm moved closer to Hawaii. Mount Kilauea began producing lava flows in early May and portions of the southeastern coastline of the Big Island have been transformed by the lava flows that covered over 13 square miles (35 square kilometers).

Yesterday (Aug. 21), Hurricane Lane was bumped up to a Category 5 storm - the highest ranking assigned to a storm based on wind speeds and expected damage. After Lane makes its turn to the northwest Wednesday to Thursday, track and intensity forecasts remain uncertain because of the interaction with island mountains and increasing vertical wind shear.

A swell generated by Lane could bring very large and rough surf and risky rip currents for south- and southeast-facing shores, the weather service said.

While Lane's strength is expected to weaken slightly upon its approach to the Hawaiian islands, it was still expected to remain a unsafe hurricane.

The hurricane threat has forced residents to scramble to stock up on essential items such as water, toilet paper and ramen.

Forecasters say slow weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours, but Lane is forecast to remain a risky hurricane as it draws closer to the Hawaiian Islands.

The Maui Emergency Management Agency says "As Lane approaches Maui County Islands areas may experience tropical storm conditions with winds 30 miles per hour or greater starting on Thursday Morning".

Hurricane Lane could bring rainfalls of close to half a metre.

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.

"I remember how very little rain fell".

"But I remember the wind being the strongest force of nature I've ever witnessed and probably the scariest sounds I've ever heard in my life".

A high surf warning is also in effect until 6 a.m. Friday for south-facing shores of Hawaii Island.

"Now is the time to prepare your homes and families", said Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr.

"A lot of people who moved here and never experienced a hurricane. they're the ones rushing to the store", he said.

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