Hurricane Lane strengthens to category 5 as it heads for Hawaii

Hurricane Lane a dangerous Category 4 storm headed toward Hawaii	 	 	 			Hurricane Lane a dangerous Category 4 storm headed toward Hawaii

Hurricane Lane a dangerous Category 4 storm headed toward Hawaii Hurricane Lane a dangerous Category 4 storm headed toward Hawaii

Hurricane Lane is now a category 5 storm with maximum sustained winds at 160 miles per hour and moving west-northwest at 9 miles per hour. The data was gathered from the NOAA P-3 aircraft.

"Hurricane Lane is not a well-behaved hurricane", Hawaii Gov. David Ige said in a statement.

After hitting the Big Island, the storm is expected to churn north over the islands of Maui, Lanai and Moloka'i, which were all under hurricane and flash flood watches. The storm is moving west at 9 miles per hour.

But the hurricane centre said the storm will move very close to or over the islands between Thursday and Saturday.

According to the latest forecast track, Lane is slated to remain a risky hurricane when its center moves very close or over parts of the state Thursday through Saturday.

Gavin Shigesato, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Honolulu, said Tuesday that tropical storm conditions are possible beginning tonight, with hurricane conditions possible on Thursday. Hawaii County remains under a hurricane warning, and Oahu under a hurricane watch. A warning is typically issued 36 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds, conditions that make outside preparations hard or risky.

Damaging tropical storm force winds could begin as early as Wednesday night in Maui County, with risky hurricane force winds possible starting Thursday, the weather service said. Expect periods of heavy rainfall, especially along the southeast and east facing slopes, the weather service said.

Bearing 155-mile per hour (250 km/h) winds, it threatened to dump as much as 20 inches (50 cm) of rain over parts of the islands, triggering major flash flooding and landslides.

Schools on the Big Island and in Maui County have already been closed until further notice.

A hurricane warning has been issued for Hawaiʻi County as Hurricane Lane continues to move towards the state as a powerful Category 4 storm. Hurricane-force winds are not expected though there is potential for winds to reach up to 73 miles per hour. Forecasters say it has a distinct, and impressive eye. But they do forecast the storm to run parallel to the entire island chain, potentially sideswiping it with a formidable blow from both water and wind.

"As Lane moves up from the southeast, the earliest potential threat to land will be for the Big Island, where a Hurricane Warning is now in effect".

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 40 miles and tropical-storm-force winds up to 140 miles from the center, the weather service said.

Computer models mostly do not predict the storm to make a direct hit on the islands, which would be the worst-case scenario.

Tornadoes and large waterspouts will be possible due to Lane, mainly along and to the right of the track of the hurricane, the weather service said.

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