Hurricane Lane 11 a.m. update for Tuesday, August 21, 2018

News

Next update: 2 p.m. 

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DISCUSSION AND OUTLOOK

At 1100 AM HST (2100 UTC), the center of Hurricane Lane was located by U.S. Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft near latitude 14.3 North, longitude 153.2 West. Lane is moving toward the west-northwest near 9 mph (15 km/h) and this motion is expected to continue through tonight. A turn toward the northwest is expected Wednesday into Thursday. On the forecast track, the center of lane will move very close to or over the main Hawaiian Islands from Thursday through Saturday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 155 mph (250 km/h) with higher gusts.  Lane is a category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Slow weakening is expected the next 48 hours, but Lane is forecast to remain a dangerous hurricane as it draws closer to the Hawaiian Islands.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 40 miles (65 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles (220 km).

The estimated minimum central pressure is 941 mb (27.79 inches).

SUMMARY INFORMATION:

LOCATION:

  • 14.3N 153.2W
  • ABOUT 410 MI…660 KM SSE OF KAILUA-KONA HAWAII
  • ABOUT 575 MI…925 KM SSE OF HONOLULU HAWAII

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…155 MPH…250 KM/H

PRESENT MOVEMENT…W OR 285 DEGREES AT 9 MPH…15 KM/H

MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…941 MB…27.79 INCHES

WATCHES AND WARNINGS

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for Hawaii County and Maui County, which includes the islands of Maui, Lanai, Molokai and Kahoolawe.

A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area. A watch is typically issued 48 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds, conditions that make outside preparations difficult or dangerous.

Interests elsewhere in the main Hawaiian Islands, and across the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, should continue to closely monitor the progress of Hurricane Lane. Additional Tropical Storm or Hurricane Watches will likely be issued later today or tonight.

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND

WIND: Tropical storm conditions are possible within the Hurricane Watch area beginning Wednesday night, with hurricane conditions possible on Thursday.

RAINFALL: Excessive rainfall associated with Lane is expected to affect portions of the Hawaiian Islands from Wednesday into the weekend, leading to flash flooding and landslides. Lane is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 10 to 15 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 20 inches over the Hawaiian Islands.

SURF: Large swells generated by Lane will impact the Hawaiian Islands this week. These swells will produce large and potentially damaging surf along exposed south and west facing shorelines.


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Lane remains a powerful hurricane this morning, with a well-developed warm eye completely surrounded by persistent cold cloud tops. Subjective Dvorak current intensity estimates were a unanimous 6.5/127 kt while ADT was in relative agreement. The initial intensity for this advisory remains at 130 kt as Lane’s satellite signature has changed little since last sampled by Hurricane Hunters and the NOAA P-3 Monday evening. 

The initial motion for this advisory is 275/10 kt, with Lane continuing to be steered by a mid-level ridge to the north. Over the next day or two, Lane is expected to reach the western periphery of the ridge, and into an area of relatively light steering flow. This is expected to allow the cyclone to gain latitude as its forward speed diminishes. In this scenario, Lane will begin to make a gradual turn to the west-northwest on Wednesday, with a more decided turn toward the northwest on Thursday. After this point, the track and intensity forecast become increasingly uncertain, as a bulk of the model guidance is depicting interaction between Lane and the terrain of the islands. This interaction then leads to a weakened Lane increasingly being steered by the low-level trade wind flow. The updated track forecast is essentially an update of the previous official forecast, and lies very close to the multi-model consensus HCCA.

Water temperatures along the forecast track will be sufficiently warm to support a major hurricane, and thus any significant weakening before Lane draws closer to the Hawaiian Islands will likely be due to shear. In the short-term, shear is expected to remain light, and subtle intensity fluctuations associated with inner-core dynamics will likely lead to little overall change in intensity. By 72 hours, the forecast anticipates an increase in shear as Lane lies between the ridge to the east and a trough aloft to the northwest of the main Hawaiian Islands. The updated intensity forecast is close to the previous, and although it is on the higher end of the guidance envelope, it closely follows the trends presented by the multi-model consensus IVCN. 

In addition to an increasing number of storm penetrations by the Hurricane Hunters of the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance, the NOAA G-IV will once again be sampling the larger scale environment to help  forecast models better initialize. The NOAA P-3 mission slated for this morning has been scrapped as the aircraft needs to be examined after encountering strong turbulence last night. 

KEY MESSAGES:

1. Lane is forecast to move dangerously close to the main Hawaiian Islands as a hurricane later this week, potentially bringing damaging winds and life-threatening flash flooding from heavy rainfall. As Lane is expected to be slow-moving as it nears the islands, it will produce large and damaging surf, mainly along exposed south and west facing shores. A Hurricane Watch has been issued for Hawaii and Maui counties, and additional Tropical Storm or Hurricane Watches may be required later today or tonight. 

2. It is much too early to confidently determine which, if any, of the main Hawaiian Islands will be directly impacted by Lane. Even if the center of Lane were to remain offshore, it is important to remember that impacts from a hurricane can extend well away from the center. Interests throughout Hawaii are urged to closely monitor the progress of Lane the next couple of days.

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