Hurricane Lane strengthens to category 5 as it heads for Hawaii

Locally over 3 inches of rainfall is possible in parts of Pennsylvania and western New York

A hurricane warning means hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the specified area within 36 hours.

A major hurricane is heading west in the Central Pacific toward Hawaii.

It's possible that the center tracks close enough for the storm's core of violent thunderstorms to hammer the islands, especially their south sides, with tremendous rainfall and destructive winds, reaching hurricane force. It may take until the weekend for Lane to succumb to wind shear and weaken to a tropical storm.

"The center of Lane will track dangerously close to the islands Thursday through Saturday", the advisory said.

It is not certain what Hurricane Lane's path will be - whether it moves north or south.

Hawaii has been plagued by freak natural events this year after a 30,000 foot high ash cloud from the Kilauea volcano blanketed the island in lava and dust. The last hurricane to make landfall in the island state was Iniki, a Category 4 that barreled into the island of Kauai on September 11, 1992, and resulted in more than $3 billion in damage.

While tropical storms and hurricanes regularly roam in the waters nearby Hawaii, direct effects from storms as intense as Lane are unusual, and its population is not well-accustomed to them.

Lane represented another kind of rarity: It was a Category 5 storm late Tuesday before weakening Wednesday morning.

A hurricane warning is in effect for Hawaii and Maui counties while a hurricane watch is in effect for Oahu and Kauai.

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Kauai bore the brunt of Iniki in 1992, and that storm is top of mind for residents preparing to weather Lane in the coming days.

Hawaii Governor David Ige is allowing non-essential state employees on the Big Island and Maui to go on administrative leave from Wednesday to Friday as the storm approaches.

In this photo provided City and County of Honolulu, Mayor Kirk Caldwell, center, receives a briefing from the Central Pacific Hurricane Center on Hurricane Lane at the Emergency Operations Center in Honolulu, Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018. "I've not seen such dramatic changes in the forecast track as I've seen with this storm".

Government weather satellites are watching closely as Hurricane Lane, a massive Category 5 storm, threatens Hawaii.

Devastation caused by winds and flooding may make locations uninhabitable for weeks and authorities warned Hawaii residents to be prepared to evacuate their homes.

A hurricane watch has been posted for Maui Counties and Hawaii Island.

This is a historic storm.#HurricaneLane is the strongest hurricane to ever threaten Hawaii, and the first Category 5 on record to come this close to the islands.

"I remember how very little rain fell".

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