Powerful Hurricane Lane has 155 mph 135 knots 249 km/h with gusts approaching 190 mph 165 knots 306 km/h. It is about 400 miles 348 nautical miles 640 km south of Hawaii. This is from the Central Pacific Hurricane Center. I would not be surprised if Lane is already a Category 5 hurricane. The UW-CIMSS Automated Satellite-Based-Dvorak Technique, which uses satellite to determine intensity suggests that Lane is a Category 5 hurricane with at least 160 mph 140 knots 257 km/h. I usually tend to weigh Dvorak Technique less because the intensity is not measured directly and is based on satellite presentation. It also does not handle pinhole eyes well. More about Dvorak Technique. Regardless, I think Lane is a Category 5 hurricane already.
The biggest question is where does Lane go? The most recent forecast model have Lane turning northward towards Hawaii.
Some of the forecast models have Lane going over the Big Island of Hawaii and some have it going over Oahu, where Honolulu is located. The Big Island has had to deal with volcanic eruption from Kīlauea. I would not be surprised if Lane does make landfall on the Big Island. From there, Lane is forecasted to head towards Maui, Oahu, and Kauai. The next question is how strong will Lane be by the time it gets close to Hawaii?
Lane is forecasted to be near the Big Island within a couple of days. The intensity forecast model has Lane as a Category 2 to 3 hurricane. That means the Big Island will have to deal with strong winds and heavy rain. This is on top of large waves and storm surge. Once it approaches the Big Island, Lane would weaken due to increased wind shear and interaction with Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. Once Lane goes passed the Big Island and heads towards Oahu, the forecast models have Lane as a Category 1 or tropical storm strength. Intensity forecasting has a long way to go. Lane could still be a major hurricane by the time it heads towards Maui or Oahu.
Another concern is rainfall. Mountainous terrains tend to have higher rainfall totals, especially on the windward side. Waipa in the island of Kauai had nearly 50 inches/127 centimeters of rainfall on April 14-15, 2018. It happened in a 24 hour period! That eclipses Tropical Storm Claudette that dumped 43 inches/109 centimeters of rain near Alvin on July 25-26, 1979. Hurricane Harvey dumped that amount over a five day period. It was also over a more populated area with large area of heavy rain.
The rainfall forecast models are from GFS, Canadian, EURO, and ICON. They are all 7 day rainfall total forecast.
The rainfall amount forecast is all over the place. Most have the Big Island and Kauai getting the heaviest rain from Lane. The amounts forecasted is generally 10 to 15 inches/25.4 to 381. centimeters of rain. The GFS has the highest with over 38 inches/96.5 centimeters of rain. It falls around Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. Regardless of where the rain falls, flooding and mudslides will be the main problem. They can be dangerous and deadly!
Here is my take.
-Lane is likely a Category 5 hurricane.
-Big Island Of Hawaii will impact from Lane in a couple of days.
-Oahu, Maui, and Kauai could be impacted by Lane.
The forecast models came from Weather.US and NCAR-Tropical Cyclone Guidance. Special thanks to all of them.