'BE PREPARED': A Category Five Hurricane Is Bearing Down On Hawaii

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

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.

At 922mb, it is just 7mb away from becoming the most intense hurricane ever in the Central Pacific.

A hurricane warning in effect for Hawaii's Big Island was extended Wednesday to the island of Maui, The National Weather Service said.

More hurricane watches were expected to be issued for other Hawaiian islands, said the Honolulu-based hurricane center. It must be ready for winds of more than 100 miles per hour, rain between 10 to 16 inches and high surf on the south shore.

"Large swells generated by Lane will impact the Hawaiian Islands, beginning this morning on the Big Island, spreading across the remainder of the island chain on today", forecaster say. Especially in this high terrain, such rainfall could lead to devastating flash flooding and mudslides.

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. A Hurricane Watch is in effect for Oahu, Kauai County, including the islands of Kauai and Niihau.

A Hurricane warning was in effect for all Hawaii County and Maui county, including the islands of Maui, Lanai, Molokai and Kahoolawe.

The US Central Pacific Hurricane Center on Wednesday downgraded Hurricane Lane to a Category 4, the second-strongest on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale of wind intensity. Public schools on the Big Island and in Maui County closed until further notice.

Residents of the islands descended on grocery stores and hardware stores to stock up ahead of the storm, and there were long lines at gas stations, according to local media reports.

As Hurricane Lane barrels toward Hawaii as a Category 4 storm, longtime residents are recalling the last time a hurricane made a direct hit on the state.

Hawaii has been put on alert amid fears a massive hurricane could be about to batter the island, with potential winds of up to 157mph forecast.

The County of Hawaii's mayor, Harry Kim, declared a state of emergency on the Big Island, effective Tuesday morning.

Canadians are being advised to avoid all non-essential travel to Hawaii as a unsafe Category 4 hurricane advances towards the USA state. A hurricane watch has been issued for Kauai.

Flash flooding and landslides are expected, with total rain accumulations of 10 to 15 inches, while certain areas in Hawaii may be deluged with more than 20 inches of rain. Note that the strands are clustered together where the forecast track is most confident, but they diverge where the course of the storm is less certain.

They are also working with the Hawaii Tourism Authority and hotels to be sure visitors are informed of the hurricane and dangers that come with it.

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