Hurricane Lane now at Category 4 as it heads toward Hawaii

The U.S. Navy is moving its ships and submarines out of Hawaii as Hurricane Lane bears down on the state.

"It remains too early to determine how it (Lane) will affect island weather", the weather service said Friday afternoon.

Hurricane Lane grew to a Category 4 storm on Saturday as it moved closer to the Central Pacific basin, the National Hurricane Center said.

The now Category 3 storm's westward motion is expected to continue through early Tuesday, however, a turn toward the west-northwest is expected to start late Tuesday.

Officials also said that regardless of Lane's track, the latest forecast models indicate an extremely moist tropical airmass will move over the islands starting around Wednesday through the end of the week - leading to heavy rainfall and flash flooding.

Devastation caused by winds and flooding may make locations uninhabitable for weeks and authorities warned Hawaii residents to be prepared to evacuate their homes.

"A lot of people are comparing the similarities between Iniki and Lane", Kauai resident Mike Miranda told the AP.

At about 5 p.m. Sunday, the center of the storm was about 735 miles east-southeast of Hilo and moving to the west at about 14 mph.

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Hawaii Gov. David Ige is allowing non-essential state employees on the Big Island and Maui to go on administrative leave from Wednesday to Friday as Hurricane Lane approaches.

Another hurricane is threatening to impact Hawaii this week, as risky Category 4 Hurricane Lane approaches the Central Pacific island chain just two weeks after Hurricane Hector passed the islands.

The storm had maximum winds of about 120 miles per hour with higher gusts.

On Tuesday night, the National Weather Service announced that Hurricane Lane had become a Category 5 hurricane, which means that it is likely to cause catastrophic damage with winds 157 miles per hour or above. 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). There's uncertainty to Lane's path - whether it moves north or south, meteorologist Gavin Shigesato said.

On its current track, Lane is expected to turn toward the island chain by mid-week.

This satellite image provided by NOAA on Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018 shows Hurricane Lane south of Hawaii. All of the islands in the state could be directly or indirectly impacted by the storm in the coming days.

The central Pacific gets fewer hurricanes than other regions, with about only four or five named storms a year, and Hawaii rarely gets hit.

  • Douglas Reid