Hurricane Lane’s Path: Category 5 Storm Barrels Down on Hawaii

August 22, 2018, 1:35 PM UTC

Hurricane Lane, a very rare Category 5 hurricane in the Pacific Ocean, is threatening to wreak havoc on the Hawaiian islands, with tropical storm and possibly hurricane conditions appearing as early as Wednesday night.

The storm, with sustained winds of 160 miles per hour as of 11 p.m. HDT (5 a.m. EDT), is predicted to either graze or directly strike the islands in the coming days. The storm’s path is still far from certain, with the National Hurricane Center’s cone of uncertainty still showing a wide swath from Thursday onward. The spaghetti models, which meteorologists use to visualize potential storm paths, further underscore the uncertainty.

The National Weather Service issued a hurricane warning Tuesday evening for the Big Island (Hawaii island). Hurricane watches are in effect for Maui, Oahu, and other small islands. Forecasters say considerable damage to roofs is possible and some locations could be uninhabitable for weeks.

“If you haven’t started getting prepared yet, folks, let’s start doing that right now,” said the National Weather Service. “We’re running out of time with this one.”

Thursday night and Friday, though, appear to be when the worst of the storm will threaten the Aloha state. And the storm is certainly a monster. Footage from within the eye of the storm shot by NOAA hurricane hunter Lisa Bucci showcases its magnitude.

Hawaii is still recovering from the eruptions of the Killauea volcano, which is finally settling down after devouring entire neighborhoods and even forming a new island.

The last time Hawaiians had to deal with a direct hit from a hurricane, it was 1992. Hurricane Iniki, a Category 4 storm struck Kauai, destroying over 1,400 homes and damaging more than 5,000.