Hurricane Lane is a strong Category 3 hurricane with 125 mph 109 knots 201 km/h winds. It has gusts as high as 150 mph 130 knots 241 km/h. The latest satellite image of Lane shows the hurricane is less intense as it is less organized than last night. It suggests that Lane is weakening, but that does not reduce the danger of Lane. Hawaii would have to deal with strong winds, high waves, storm surge, and heavy rain.
Most forecast models have Lane weakening to a Category 1 hurricane to tropical storm as it gets closer to Hawaii this weekend. As mentioned previously, satellite presentation does suggest Lane is weakening. The next question is is it possible that Lane could make landfall?
The heat map forecast from various forecast models from NCAR-Tropical Cyclone Guidance with radius of 300 miles. It is possible that Lane could make landfall somewhere on Hawaii. It could be Oahu, Moloka’i, and Lana’i. That would be very bad it Lane made landfall on Oahu, which is the most populated Hawaiian island. It looks to be lingering for the next several days as it is a slow moving hurricane. That would be a problem as slow moving tropical cyclones dump heavy rain. Case in point, Harvey. One huge concern is flooding from Lane, regardless of intensity.
The rainfall forecast models are from GFS, Canadian, EURO, and ICON. They are all 7 day rainfall total forecast from Weather.US.
The rainfall amount forecast is all over the place. Let alone where the heavy rain falls. Most have 10 to 20 inches/25.4 to 50.8 centimeters of rain falling. ICON has the lowest with 13 inches/33 centimeters of rain, while EURO has nearly 36 inches/91.4 centimeters of rain, which is over Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. The mountainous terrain is conducive to deadly mudslide and flooding. Also, mountainous areas have heavier rain. I would be more concerned about heavy rain and flooding from Lane than strong winds. Doppler radar out of NWS Hawaii shows heavy rain is already falling in parts of Hawaii as of 5:15 PM Hawaiian Time.
Doppler radar estimate out of Kohala show up to 15 inches/38.1 centimeters or higher has fallen already from Lane. There is no doubt that 36 inches/91.4 centimeters is likely to fall in Hawaii. I would not be surprised if some areas see up to 50 inches/127 centimeters of rain once it is all over. That is very concerning. The live camera from Waikiki Beach shows a calm beach despite Lane coming ever so closer. Come tomorrow and Saturday, it will be very different.
Here is my take.
-Oahu, Maui, and Kauai could be impacted by Lane as early as Friday.
-Strong winds, heavy rain, high waves, and storm surge will be a major problem.
-Flooding, not strong winds, will be the main problem.