Hurricane Lane Downgraded to Tropical Storm
WHY IT RATES: With Lane being downgraded to a tropical storm, residents and tourists in Hawaii can breathe a sigh a relief knowing they're facing less of a threat, but still need to be cautious until the storm has completely passed.—Jessica Zickefoose, TravelPulse Associate Editor
On August 24, as of 5:00 pm HST, the National Weather Service reported that Hurricane Lane has been downgraded to a tropical storm, with maximum sustained winds of 70 miles per hour. Tropical Storm Lane is now moving 4 miles per hour in a westward direction away from the Hawaiian Islands and forecasted to become a tropical depression by Saturday night.
Tropical Storm Lane, the center of which was 150 miles south-southwest of Honolulu at 5:00 pm, underwent a rapid weakening, a product of strong wind shear and trade winds effectively collapsing the thunderstorm that formed the core of Lane. The island of Hawaii’s mountainous terrain, particularly mammoth Maunaloa and Maunakea, also contributed to the storm losing strength.
MORE Impacting Travel
The National Weather Service reported that high winds and ocean storm surge are no longer seen as threats to the Hawaiian Islands. The most likely potential threats that remain are rainstorms and flash flooding in localized areas statewide. Rainfall of 5 to 10 inches, with isolated areas receiving up to 15 inches, is possible as the storm follows its westward course south of the Hawaiian Islands.
The island of Hawaii has already borne the brunt of Tropical Storm Lane, receiving up to 36 inches of rain on the island’s east side in a 24-hour period along with reports of flash flooding in several areas, according to the National Weather Service.
George D. Szigeti, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, cautioned residents and visitors to continue monitoring the weather conditions and to not take unnecessary risks until the storm has completed its pass of the islands.
“The downgrading of Lane to a tropical storm is a huge relief for all of Hawaii, as the entire state has been staring at the rare possibility of being struck by a major hurricane this past week,” said Szigeti. “The continued threats of rainfall and flooding over the next 24 hours need to be taken seriously until we know for certain Tropical Storm Lane is no longer a danger to people and property statewide.”
Several flights were canceled yesterday and earlier today when hurricane warnings were still in effect, creating a backlog of travelers who were scheduled to depart Hawaii these past two days. Travelers affected by these flight cancellations are strongly encouraged to contact their airline providers and secure a confirmed ticket before going to the airport.
For a listing of road closures statewide, please refer to the Hawaii State Department of Transportation Highways Division’s website at hidot.hawaii.gov/hurricane-lane/.
For tourism updates please visit the Alerts page of the Hawaii Tourism Authority: hawaiitourismauthority.org/news/alerts/
Travelers planning a trip to the Hawaiian Islands who have questions can contact the Hawaii Tourism United States Call Center at 1-800-GOHAWAII (1-800-464-2924) .
SOURCE: Hawaiian Tourism Authority press release
Tags : hurricane downgraded tropical storm