Hurricane Lane has officially become a Category 4 storm, and it may pose a serious threat to the Hawaiian Islands this week.
Lane officially crossed over into a Category 4 hurricane on Tuesday morning, according to a report by ABC News. The storm system reached sustained winds of 150 miles per hour, with gusts reaching as high as 185 miles per hour. At this rate, meteorologists expect hurricane conditions of some kind to affect Hawaii later this week, with the brunt of the storm possibly even approaching Honolulu.
Hurricane Lane is a Category 4 hurricane, with sustained winds of 150 mph and gusts of up to 185 mph; hurricane conditions possible for parts of Hawaii islands later this week. //t.co/oqjn6vF1Ei pic.twitter.com/ERiwnt18AP— ABC News (@ABC) August 21, 2018
Most models show the storm reaching Hawaii on Friday. However, with any luck the severity of the storm will drop by then. Experts believe that Lane could drop back to a Category 3 by Wednesday night, and a Category 2 by Thursday night. With any luck, it will be a Category 1 when it makes landfall on Friday. After that, Lane will be back to a Tropical Storm.
Still, Hawaiian residents have been urged to prepare for the worst as the storm approaches. The National Weather Service has been keeping locals up to date on safety reccomendations, as well as the storm itself. At this point, they are warning about "significant impacts" that are on the way.
Both Hawaii and Maui counties on the island chain are under official Hurricane Watches as of Tuesday morning.
5am HST: A Hurricane Watch has been issued for Hawaii and Maui Counties. Please continue to monitor //t.co/YJ5m2u0zl8 and //t.co/fUefWa9aTA for updates as #Lane continues to approach The Aloha State #hiwx pic.twitter.com/a1Zyw6Np9j— NWSHonolulu (@NWSHonolulu) August 21, 2018
"It is still too early to confidently determine which, if any, of the main Hawaiian Islands will be directly impacted," read a release from the National Weather Service. "Even if the center of Lane remains offshore, it is important to remember the impacts of a hurricane can extend well away from the center. Hurricane Watch means hurricane conditions (sustained winds 74 mph or greater) are possible in the next 48 hours."
Many residents are terrified about the possibility, especially after the year of dangerous volcanic conditions Hawaii has already seen. From May to last week, a number of eruptions and other volcanic activity severely impacted life on parts of the islands, and devastated the tourism economy on others.
The Kilauea volcano began erupting on May 3 and activity has only begun to diminish in the last several days, according to the United States Geological Survey. However, the organization released a statement to Express warning that there are still hazards to deal with.
"The change does not mean with absolute certainty that the LERZ eruption or summit collapses are over," it said. "It remains possible that eruption and collapse activity could resume.”