A special advisory issued by the US National Weather Service (NWS) at 18:30 (local time) on Tuesday, August 21, indicated that Hurricane Lane had strengthened to a Category 5 storm, the highest rating on the Saffir-Simpson scale. The storm is located 605 km (375 mi) south-southeast of Kona and moving west-northwest at 15 km/h (9 mph) and expected to shift to a more northerly path on Wednesday, August 22. It is producing sustained winds of 260 km/h (160 mph) with hurricane force winds (120 km/h or 75 mph) extending 65 km (40 mi) from the eye. Lane is forecast to weaken slowly as it moves north into colder waters but remain a powerful and dangerous storm when it reaches Hawai'i.
The NWS issued a hurricane warning for the Big Island of Hawai'i at 18:00 on Tuesday, effective until further notice. Tropical storm-force winds are expected on the Big Island as soon as Wednesday evening with hurricane-force winds beginning late Thursday, August 23. A hurricane watch is also in effect for Oahu, Molokai, Maui, Lanai, and Kahoolawe. The center of the storm is expected to pass over the main Hawai'ian islands from Thursday to Saturday, August 25.
Rainfall of more than 50 cm (20 in) and storm surges of 4.5-7.6 m (15-25 ft) are possible and could result in major flooding and mudslides. Strong winds may result in structural damage and cause power and communication outages. Strong surf will likely produce dangerous waves and rip currents along south and southeast-facing shores.
Lane formed as a tropical depression on August 14 and quickly strengthened to a hurricane on August 16. Hurricanes and tropical cyclones are common in the eastern and central Pacific from May through November.
Individuals present or traveling to Hawaii are advised to keep abreast of weather alerts, adhere to any advice issued by local authorities, confirm flight reservations, and refrain from beach or ocean activities; hurricanes can produce dangerous waves and deadly rip currents even at large distances from the storm. In the event of flooding, remember that driving and walking through running water can be dangerous - 15 cm (6 in) of running water is enough to knock over an adult.
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