ROANOKE, Va – Overnight, Hurricane Lane strengthened into a dangerous category 5 hurricane as it moves closer to the Hawaiian islands. With winds of 160 mph, Lane is now the strongest hurricane on record to be this close to Hawaii. Hurricane watches and warnings are now in effect for the island chain.
The center of circulation is expected to stay offshore as it passes by the Big Island, but Hurricane force wind gusts and torrential rain will still impact the island.
A direct hit on the islands is possible as Lane moves north toward Kauai and Niihau by the end of the work week.
A hurricane has made landfall in Hawaii only a few times in recorded history. The last, and strongest, was category 4 Hurricane Iniki in 1992.