Hurricane Lane expected to pass south of Hawaii

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A turn toward the NW is expected on Wednesday, followed by a turn to the NNW on Thursday.

There is still a high degree of uncertainty on the forecast track and intensity of Lane.

Unlike Hurricane Hector, which skirted the Hawaiian Islands earlier this month, Lane is projected to veer north-northwest and drench the Aloha State's most populated areas.

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10 to 15 inches of rain, with isolated amounts greater than 20 inches is expected over the Hawaiian Islands starting Wednesday night.

"This storm, this Hurricane Lane, is a unsafe storm, and we've got to take it very, very seriously", Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said at a state Capitol news conference. "Large and potentially damaging surf" will affect exposed shorelines facing the west, south and east, the NWS said.

As of 8 a.m. today, Lane was about 420 miles south-southeast of Hilo, 450 miles south-southeast of Kailua-Kona and 390 miles south-southeast of South Point.

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In other words, Lane is likely to maintain hurricane strength when it makes a close approach or direct strike on the Big Island on Thursday. Forecasters say it has a distinct, and impressive eye.

A slow weakening of Lane is expected over the next two days but the system is expected to remain a risky hurricane as it draws nearer to the islands, the weather service said.

Lane may also generate surf heights reaching as much as 7.5 metres, with "the potential for significant damage to coastal properties and infrastructure, including roadways".

The path for Hurricane Lane will take it close to Honolulu by Friday.

Tropical-storm-force winds could arrive on Wednesday in the Big Island, and in the smaller islands by Thursday or Friday.

While Lane's strength is expected to weaken slightly upon its approach to the Hawaiian islands, it was still expected to remain a risky hurricane. But early indications showed that the south end of the island up to the western side would be taking the brunt of the storm. Remember that life threatening weather conditions can extend well away from the center of the hurricane.

All public and charter schools and Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) offices on Hawaii Island and in Maui County will be closed Wednesday, Aug. 22, until further notice, in anticipation of unsafe storm conditions from Hurricane Lane. Deep tropical moisture associated with Lane will spread across all islands.

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