Hurricane Lane turns north towards main Hawaii islands, expected to turn west away from Oahu

The Central Pacific Hurricane Center is probably a very sweaty smelly place these days 🙂  Hurricane Lane is following the forecast track so far, but it is swinging dangerously close to the Islands.  Here is the latest forecast impact swath based on the 24 August 09z CPHC forecast, which is 11pm the 23rd Hawai’i time and 5am East Coast Time the 24th.  Not much has changed in the last few cycles other than tweaking the intensity and exact track.  CPHC is being a bit conservative (high) with the intensity, but it’s a smart move given how close the storm is passing, how warm the water is, and how organized the storm remains despite a lot of wind shear.  That shear will change direction radically over the next day, forcing a hard left turn as the storm approaches O’ahu.  Scary stuff.

Assuming the storm makes the turn as forecast, in most places impacts will be in the “hazardous to be out in it but not catastrophic” range, except in flood prone areas; see below. The higher winds should stay offshore.  Not to say it won’t get gusty, and higher winds across the higher ridge lines, but wind damage should be limited to limbs and weaker trees down, damage to signage, roofs and awnings, that sort of things.  Could be lots of power outages, but nothing catastrophic unless something breaks that shouldn’t.

The biggest risk from Lane continues to be rain and flash flooding in the mountains and streams/rivers that run off from them.  Some areas have had nearly two feet of rain over the last day – all that water gets channeled through valleys and can cause epic, fast moving floods.  More on that in a separate post.

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