ROANOKE, Va – It was a little more than a week ago that category 4 Hurricane Hector was getting uncomfortably close the Hawaiian islands. The eyewall, the most powerful part of a tropical cyclone, thankfully stayed offshore. A little more than a week later, another powerful storm threatens paradise.
Hurricane Lane is currently a category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of 150 mph. It expected to maintain Category 4 intensity at least through Tuesday night before weakening slightly as it closes in on the island chain by Thursday morning. A landfall as a category 1 or 2 storm is possible by the end of the work week.
Land-falling hurricanes are rare on the islands. There are a lot of close encounters by tropical cyclones, but the last hurricane to make landfall on the islands was Hurricane Iniki in 1992. Iniki made landfall as a Category 4 storm on the island of Kauai and is the strongest hurricane to hit the island chain. Storms typically weaken on approach to Hawaii from a number of meteorological factors, but like with any tropical system, it only takes one.