Hurricane Lane remained a powerful Category 3 storm Friday as it churned slowly north-northwest toward the Hawaiian Islands. The storm's sluggish movement threatened to bring prolonged rain and increased the risk of flooding and landslides.
Forecasters said Lane's eye passed over a buoy about 250 miles southwest of the Big Island on Thursday morning, and a peak wind speed of 107 mph was recorded.
"The slow movement of Lane also greatly increases the threat for prolonged heavy rainfall and extreme rainfall totals," the Central Pacific Hurricane Center said. "This is expected to lead to major, life-threatening flash flooding and landslides over all Hawaiian Islands."
As Hurricane Lane continued to trudge along late Thursday into Friday, its slow pace was emerging as the biggest concern.
The Central Pacific Hurricane Center, in Honolulu said, "Excessive rainfall associated with this slow moving hurricane will continue to impact the Hawaiian Islands into the weekend, leading to significant and life-threatening flash flooding and landslides."
"Lane is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 10 to 20 inches, with localized amounts of 30 to 40 inches possible over portions of the Hawaiian Islands. Over two feet of rain has already fallen at a few locations on the windward side of the Big Island."
"On the latest forecast track, the center of Lane will move over, or dangerously close to portions of the main Hawaiian islands late Friday and Friday night," the center said. "Some weakening is forecast from Friday through late Saturday, but Lane is expected to remain a hurricane as it approaches the islands."
Hurricane-force winds were extending outward up to 35 miles from Lane's center and tropical-storm-force winds extended outward up to 125 miles.