A powerful and rare storm is brewing in the Pacific Ocean and threatens to hit one Hawaiian island for the first time in more than a quarter of a century.
According to Fox News, Hurricane Lane was identified this week about 450 miles to the south-southeast of Kailua-Kona, which is located on the big island of Hawaii.
The Central Pacific Hurricane Center issued an advisory Tuesday morning, describing the storm as a Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds as high as 150 miles per hour.
It was moving at about 12 miles per hour at the time of the report and is expected to weaken as it heads toward possible landfall.
“Hurricane conditions are possible within the Hurricane Watch area on Thursday,” according to the advisory. “Excessive rainfall associated with Lane is expected to affect portions of the Hawaiian Islands on Wednesday into the weekend, leading to flash flooding and landslides.”
— Kelly Cass (@kellycass) August 21, 2018
Both Hawaii and Maui counties have been added to the hurricane watch region. Whether Lane remains a hurricane or is downgraded to a tropical storm, experts say it could wreak havoc on the island state.
Fox News Senior Meteorologist Janice Dean said forecasts show the storm heading “very close” to land, but as of the latest reports it was unclear which path it would take.
“What is uncertain is the exact track and how strong the system will be as it approaches land,” she said.
The meteorologist noted how uncommon landfall in this area of the U.S. is, explaining only three have hit Kauai in recorded history. The latest was in 1992 with Hurricane Iniki. Hurricanes Iwa and Dot preceded it in 1982 and 1959, respectively.
In a tweet on Tuesday, the National Weather Service in Honolulu announced a flash flood watch would be in effect for 28 Hawaii counties from 6 a.m. Wednesday to 6 p.m. Friday.
HFO issues Flash Flood Watch valid at Aug 22, 6:00 AM HST for 28 counties/zones in [HI] till Aug 24, 6:00 PM HST https://t.co/XbY3aykJrw
— NWSHonolulu (@NWSHonolulu) August 21, 2018
Local officials are similarly expressing caution and advising preparation ahead of the storm’s arrival later this week.
“Some people might say, ‘Another hurricane, it didn’t hit us last time. We don’t need to worry,'” Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said.
Instead, he said Hawaiians have “got to plan for the worst and hope for the best.”
Maui’s mayor agreed.
“Anyone who is waiting until the storm hits to prepare will find themselves running around at the last minute and standing in line at the gas stations and grocery stores,” Alan Arakawa advised. “So prepare now and avoid being on the road when you should be safe at home.”
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