Hurricane Lane is now a Category 4 and since it is headed straight for Hawaii, could be bringing a lot of devastation. While warnings have been sent out and are in place across most of the islands of Hawaii, we cannot help but wonder how things will play out.

For those who do not know Category 4 hurricanes are hurricanes that come with a lot of catastrophic damage. During this kind of thing, lots of damage is to be expected. NOAA’s NHC says that “Well-built framed homes can sustain severe damage with loss of most of the roof structure and/or some exterior walls. Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.”

Lane is operating with winds at around 160 miles per hour. While it still has the potential to grow to a Category 5 before this is all said and done; it slowing from a 5 to a 4 is at least a little easier for those who will be affected. Lane is actually expected to weaken over the next 48 hours but will remain a hurricane nonetheless.

According to The National Weather Service’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center, Lane is located about 460 miles southeast of Honolulu and moving west-northwest at about 9 miles per hour. Sadly, it seems Hawaii is facing a bit of an issue when it comes to sheltering everyone. The state reported that there are only 277,376 shelter spaces available for the islands’ and about 1.4 million people living on the islands. While shelters are a last resort, they should be available to everyone, not just a small number.

Accuweather reported as follows on Hurricane Lane’s progress:

As of Wednesday morning Hawaii Time, Lane is a Category 4 hurricane, but continued gradual weakening is forecast as td chain. A Category 4 hurricane has maximum sustained winds of 130 to 156 mph.

Lane is following in the footsteps of Major Hurricane Hector from earlier this month. While Hector maintained a straight westward course, Lane has made half of the forecast turn to the northwest during Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

At this time, AccuWeather meteorologists are still expecting Lane to track 90 to 100 miles west of the Big Island during Thursday evening, Hawaii Standard Time (HST).

Lane is forecast to get as close as 80 miles southwest of O’ahu Friday afternoon.

People on Kauai can expect the closest approach of 55 to 60 miles later Friday night to Saturday morning.

“As a caveat, there is a risk of a direct hit on any of these islands should a delay in the turn to the west occur,” Kottlowski said.

People can expect tropical storm conditions with hurricane-force gusts (74 mph or greater) to precede the closest approach by about 12 hours.

Coastal communities should be prepared for storm surge flooding and overwash where large waves crash ashore.

Although Lane may only be a Category 1 hurricane or tropical storm on its closest approach to the islands, it will still be capable of bringing powerful wind gusts and torrential rainfall. Even a close glancing blow can lead to a significant number of power outages and fallen trees.

Rainfall of 6 to 12 inches is likely in many locations of the islands. An AccuWeather Local StormMax of 24 inches is forecast in some locations. In areas that are typically sheltered during the prevailing northeast trade winds, rainfall of this nature can lead to catastrophic flash flooding and mudslides.

Bathers, borders, and boaters venturing in the waters will be some of the first at risk from Lane.

“Large swells radiating outward from the center of the hurricane began generating rough surf along the east- and south-facing coastal areas of the Big Island and Maui on Tuesday,” Kottlowski said. “These conditions will worsen and progress northwestward across the island chain through the end of the week.”

Rip currents will increase in number and strength.

It can very dangerous for ocean vessels south of the islands as well as small craft attempting to navigate the inter-island channels.

What do you think about this? I guess all we can do right now is wait and see what happens. Will Lane merely brush through for a moment or will he change everything?

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