While the state has been rocked by a record volume of earthquakes and a historic volcanic eruption that poured hot lava through residential neighborhoods earlier this year, it appears more unusual conditions are in the cards for the Aloha state. Moisture associated with a deep trough produced heavy, flooding rains on portions of the Big Island today.
With cold air brought down to the surface in potent storms, accumulating snow also fell earlier on Hawaii’s highest summits. While snow is common on the Big Island summits in the winter months, accumulating snow in the middle of August is rare for this tropical island.
And while the weather will calm down a bit over the next few days, eyes will be on Major Hurricane Lane.
The first advisory issued by the Central Pacific Hurricane Center (CPHC) on Major Hurricane Lane was made this evening. In the advisory, the CPHC had the center of Hurricane Lane near latitude 12.8 North, longitude 141.0 West. Lane is moving toward the west near 16 mph and a motion between west and west-northwest with some decrease in forward speed is expected over the next few days. Maximum sustained winds are near 130 mph with higher gusts. Lane is a category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some weakening is forecast over the next few days. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 105 miles. The estimated minimum central pressure is 952 mb (28.12 inches).
The official forecast from the CPHC keeps the center of Lane south of Hawaii for now, but there could be sizeable changes in the future forecast for a tropical cyclone. As such, future forecast updates may shift the storm path closer to or away from the Hawaiian Islands. However, even if the storm passes south of the islands, there is a threat of heavy, flooding rains. Residents and tourists should prepare for the possibility of a direct hit; they should also prepare for the possibility of related heavy rains even if the center of the storm doesn’t strike any island.