Hurricane watch issued for Hawaii, Maui counties as Lane nears state

Hurricane watch issued for Hawaii, Maui counties as Lane nears state

The National Weather Service issues rare hurricane watches and warnings for parts of the Hawaiian Islands ahead of impacts from Hurricane Lane set to hit later this week.

"Slight weakening is expected during the next couple of days, but Lane is forecast to remain a risky hurricane as it draws closer to the Hawaiian Islands", forecasters said.

Hawaii residents could be slammed with heavy rain, flash flooding and high surf even if the center doesn't reach the islands, according to Birchard.

Lane has maximum winds of 150 mph (240 km/h) and is about 450 miles (725 km) southeast of Hawaii's big island. Swell direction is expected to trend more SSE to S for the back half of the week as Lane tracks a bit further west and then north in the next couple days.

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Without a direct impact by the center - or near center - of the storm, the islands will still expect tropical storm conditions from the hurricane as it most likely passes south of the island chain.

'Latest forecast models indicate that, regardless of the eventual track and intensity of Lane, an extremely moist air mass will move over the islands beginning around Wednesday, and then persist through the end of the week, ' forecasters said. Eaton said Lane appears to be moving closer to the islands than Hector did when it went through the Pacific earlier this month. These swells will produce large and potentially damaging surf along exposed south and west facing shorelines.

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

As you may have heard, Hawaii has been experiencing a volcanic eruption for much of the summer.

Landfalling hurricanes are very rare in Hawaii, as the Central Pacific does not normally see as many storms as the Atlantic or Eastern Pacific, and the Hawaiian Islands present a very small target in the vast Pacific Ocean. Only two hurricanes have made landfall in Hawaii since modern record keeping began; Hurricane Dot in 1959, and 1992's Hurricane Iniki, a category four storm that made landfall west of Kauai. This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical error within press releases and commentaries.

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