Hurricane Lane update: Aug. 21, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. HST

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EDITOR’S NOTE: This is an archive post of KHON2’s ongoing Hurricane Lane coverage.

Click to access: KHON2’s current storm post for the latest updates, KHON2’s Live Stream for on-air updates and KHON2’s Facebook page for Facebook Lives.

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DISCUSSION AND OUTLOOK

Data from the NOAA P-3 aircraft indicate that Lane has continued to intensify this afternoon. Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 160 mph (260 km/h), making Lane an extremely dangerous category 5 hurricane.

At 630 PM HST (0430 UTC), the eye of Hurricane Lane was located by NOAA aircraft near latitude 14.5 North, longitude 154.0 West. Lane is moving toward the west-northwest near 9 mph (15 km/h) and this motion is expected to continue tonight. A turn toward the northwest is expected on Wednesday, followed by a turn to the north-northwest on Thursday. On the forecast track, the center of Lane will move very close to or over the main Hawaiian Islands from Thursday through Saturday.

Data from the aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds have increased to near 160 mph (260 km/h) with higher gusts. Lane is now a category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

Slow weakening is forecast during 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 922 mb (27.23 inches).

SUMMARY INFORMATION:

LOCATION:

  • 14.5N 154.0W
  • ABOUT 375 MI…605 KM SSE OF KAILUA-KONA HAWAII
  • ABOUT 535 MI…860 KM SSE OF HONOLULU HAWAII

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…160 MPH…260 KM/H

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

MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…922 MB…27.23 INCHES

WATCHES AND WARNINGS

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for Hawaii County.

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for Maui County, including the islands of Maui, Lanai, Molokai and Kahoolawe, and Oahu.

A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area. A warning is typically issued 36 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds, conditions that make outside preparations difficult or dangerous. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.

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 or Warnings may be issued tonight or Wednesday. 

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND

WIND: Tropical storm conditions are expected within the Hurricane Warning area beginning late Wednesday night into early Thursday morning, with hurricane conditions expected somewhere within the warning area on Thursday. Tropical storm conditions are possible within the Hurricane Watch area beginning Thursday into Thursday night, with hurricane conditions possible late Thursday night into Friday.

RAINFALL: Excessive rainfall associated with Lane is expected to affect portions of the Hawaiian Islands from late 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 amounts greater than 20 inches over the Hawaiian Islands.

SURF: Large swells generated by Lane will impact the Hawaiian Islands, beginning tonight on the Big Island, spreading across the remainder of the island chain on Wednesday. These swells will produce large and potentially damaging surf along exposed west, south and east facing shorelines.


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Lane remains a powerful hurricane this afternoon, with a well-developed warm eye completely surrounded by persistent cold cloud tops. The Hurricane Hunter aircraft from the 53rd Weather  Reconnaissance Squadron has been flying through Lane during the day, and has provided invaluable data. The central pressure dropped around 10 mb between the 18Z and 00Z fixes, with the last eye dropsonde measuring 930 mb with 16 kt splash wind, yielding a minimum pressure estimate of 929 mb. Peak SFMR winds during this mission were 140 kt, and max flight level winds were 146 kt. Subjective Dvorak current intensity estimates range from 6.5/127 kt to 7.0/140 kt, with the latest ADT current intensity holding steady at 6.5/127 kt. Although the central pressure has dropped sharply during the last 18 hours, it is now about what one would expect for a hurricane of strong Category 4 intensity in the Central Pacific basin, and based primarily on the aircraft data the intial intensity is held at 135 kt for this advisory. 

Lane has turned slightly to the WNW today, and the initial motion for this advisory is 285/8 kt. Lane has been moving generally westward to the south of a mid-level ridge during the past several days. However, this will be changing soon, as Lane begins to round the western periphery of this ridge and moves into an area of relatively light steering flow. This is expected to allow the cyclone to gain latitude as its forward speed diminishes. The hurricane is forecast to continue moving west-northwest tonight, then turn to the northwest on Wednesday, and to the north-northwest on Thursday, as it moves between the mid-level ridge to the east and a developing upper-level trough to the northwest of Hawaii. After this point, the track and intensity forecast become increasingly uncertain, as the majority of the reliable model guidance brings Lane very close to the islands with potential interaction between Lane and the mountainous terrain of the islands. This interaction combined with increasing vertical wind shear leads to a weakened Lane being steered to the west by the low-level trade wind flow during the later forecast periods. The new track forecast has been nudged slightly to left through 36 hours, then slightly to the right or closer to the islands at 72 hours, in very good agreement with 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 increasing wind shear. Through the next 36 to 48 hours, shear is expected to remain light, and we expect only slow weakening as the cyclone moves over slightly cooler SSTs and may be impacted by eyewall replacement cycles. At 72 hours and beyond, the forecast anticipates a sharp increase in shear as Lane moves closer to the large upper trough to the northwest of the main Hawaiian Islands. The new intensity forecast is very similar to the previous forecast, and continues to follow the trend of the multi-model consensus IVCN.

In addition to continued storm penetrations by the Hurricane Hunters of the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, the NOAA P-3 aircraft will also be flying into Lane again this evening. The NOAA G-IV aircraft once again sampled the larger scale environment during the day to help with initialization of the forecast models.

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 anywhere in the state. As Lane is expected to be slow-moving as it nears the islands, it will produce large and damaging surf. 

2. 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.  Preparations there should be rushed to completion as tropical-storm force winds are forecast to arrive in the warning area by late Wednesday or early Thursday.  A Hurricane Watch remains in effect for Maui County, and is now posted for Oahu, with tropical-storm force winds possibly beginning Thursday or Thursday night. 

3. Due to a continued high degree of uncertainty on the forecast track and intensity of Lane, hurricane impacts could be felt across any of the Hawaiian Islands.  It is too early to predict which, if any, of the islands are directly impacted.  Remember that life threatening weather conditions can extend well away from the center of the hurricane.  Interests throughout Hawaii are urged to closely monitor the progress of Lane during the next few days.

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