Small track/intensity shift for Lane, more potential damage for Hawaii

The latest CPHC forecast has Lane staying stronger, and passing a little closer, to the main Hawai’ian Islands.  Moloka’i, Lana’i, and O’ahu are now within the sustained tropical storm force wind swath (40 to 50mph, with wind gusts likely in the 70’s – note that it doesn’t make sense to talk about “hurricane force wind gusts” because the gusts are part of the winds, but that is a rant and battle I think I’ve lost to the media frenzy).  This means there will be more damage and power outages over the islands than estimated based on this morning’s track.  It’s not likely the winds will reach actual hurricane force except on exposed ridgelines and higher elevations, but the danger of that is still present and all preparations should, as CPHC says, “be rushed to completion.”  Lane is still not likely to cause catastrophic damage from wind alone, but in the “hazardous and inconvenient” range in most places. Along the immediate coast there will be storm surge and epic waves.  Inland, however, rain and flash flooding are another matter – this is potentially life threatening.  The slow speed turn and wet character of the storm, combined with enhancement of rain rates from mountainous topography means that is the most dangerous aspect of the storm.  Those in the danger zone (especially valleys and river/stream banks prone to flash floods) need to take this very seriously.  Here’s the latest swath map …

On this track impacts are likely to be in the $100 Million range across the islands.  But as noted, this is a tough storm to get a handle on as small wobbles can either spare the islands – or smash them.

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