Reminder: Hurricane Lane 2018

There are some that actually took Hurricane Lane lightly. But, these are the facts: (prepare for 2019 now)

Hurricane Lane was the wettest tropical cyclone on record in Hawaii, with rainfall accumulations of 52.02 inches (1,321 mm) in Mountain View. It also ranked as the second-wettest tropical cyclone in the United States, after Hurricane Harvey of 2017. The first Category 5 Pacific hurricane since Patricia in 2015, Lane was the twelfth named storm, sixth hurricane, and fourth major hurricane of the 2018 Pacific hurricane season. It originated from a tropical wave that moved off the coast of Africa on July 31, and was eventually monitored for tropical cyclogenesis several hundred miles off the southern coast of Mexico on August 11.[1] Over the next four days, the disturbance gradually strengthened amid favorable atmospheric and thermodynamic conditions and became a tropical storm on August 15. Steady intensification occurred and Lane reached hurricane status by August 17, followed by rapid intensification that brought Lane to its initial peak intensity as a Category 4 hurricane on August 18. On August 19, Lane crossed into the Central Pacific basin, where increased wind shear weakened it. However, on August 20, Lane re-intensified into a Category 4 hurricane, and reached its peak intensity as a Category 5 hurricane early on August 22. As Lane approached the Hawaiian Islands, it began to weaken as vertical wind shear once again increased, dropping below hurricane status on August 25. Over the next few days, Lane followed a westwards course away from the Hawaiian Islands as influence from the easterly trade winds increased as Lane weakened. On August 29, Lane became a remnant low, and dissipated shortly afterward.

Hurricane Lane was only the second Category 5 hurricane to pass within 350 miles (560 km) of South Point, Hawaii. The other one was John in 1994. Lane prompted the issuance of hurricane watches and warnings for every island in Hawaii. From August 22 to 26, Lane brought heavy rain to much of the Hawaiian Windward Islands, which caused flash flooding and mudslides. Strong winds downed trees and power lines on Maui, and brush fires ignited on both Maui and Oahu. One fatality occurred on Kauai, and damage across the state reached $250 million (2018 USD).

Although Hurricane Lane remained west of the Big Island, tremendous amounts of rain battered eastern areas of the island from August 22 to 26. Hilo saw its wettest three-day period on record with 31.85 in (809 mm) of precipitation observed; 15 in (380 mm) fell on August 24 alone, marking the fifth-wettest day in the city’s recorded history. Accumulations were greatest along the volcanic slopes of Mauna Loa; 49.48 in (1,257 mm) fell in Waiākea-Uka near the city. Precipitation peaked at 52.02 in (1,321.3 mm) in Mountain View. This made Lane the wettest tropical cyclone on record in the state of Hawaii, eclipsing the previous peak of 52 in (1,300 mm) during Hurricane Hiki in 1950. A private weather station observed 58.8 in (1,490 mm); however, this value is awaiting verification by meteorologists at the National Weather Service office in Honolulu.[59] Along the still-erupting Kīlauea volcano, the rain created excessive steam that caused whiteouts. Effects on the volcano itself were negligible and limited to minor rockfalls. The porous nature of volcanic rock and land in the Puna District also served to mitigate the amount of runoff.

Flooding closed numerous roads island-wide, including portions of Route 11 and 19 along the Belt Road. Multiple landslides covered portions of the Akoni Pule Highway. In and around Hilo, swollen rivers inundated homes and 100 people required rescue in the Reeds Island subdivision. Six classrooms at Waiakea Elementary School also flooded. Areas along the Hilo Bayfront were particularly affected. Residents in Hawaiian Acres were forced to abandon their cars on flooded roads. Landslides in the town destroyed two homes. Excess water overwhelmed three sewage pumps, causing 9 million gallons of untreated wastewater to spill into Hilo Bay. A small waterspout formed off the coast of Paukaa on August 23. Across Hawaii County, 3 homes were destroyed, 23 homes and 3 businesses suffered major flood damage, while another 113 homes and 17 businesses experienced minor damage. In Kurtistown, a bonsai tree nursery suffered an estimated $3–5 million in property damage with 100 trees lost.[66] Surveys by Hawaii County Civil Defense remained underway as of August 30, 2018.

Volunteers from All Hands and Hearts, Team Rubicon, and Southern Baptist Disaster Relief assisted residents with cleaning flood damage and removal of mold. On August 29, the Central Pacific Bank would provide natural disaster loans of $1,000–3,000 for any Maui residents who applied. A brown water advisory was raised for areas between Hāmākua Coast and Laupāhoehoe in Hawaiʻi on September 4 as runoff and sewage spills entered Hilo Bay. Officials advised residents to stay out of coastal waters accordingly. On September 6, Governor David Ige requested President Trump declare a major disaster for Hawaii, with damages estimated to be US$250 million.

 

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