Lane Intensifies Into a Major Hurricane on Way to Central Pacific

Hurricane Lane intensified into a major hurricane on it way toward the Central Pacific Ocean on Friday night.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Friday the center of Hurricane Lane was located at latitude 11.8°N and longitude 135.6°W which put it about 1405 miles (2260 km) east-southeast of Hilo, Hawaii.  Lane was moving toward the west at 16 m.p.h. (26 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 120 m.p.h. (195 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 140 m.p.h. (225 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 964 mb.

Hurricane Lane exhibited the structure of a major hurricane on satellite imagery.  There was a circular eye at the center of circulation.  A ring of strong thunderstorms surrounded the eye and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms.  Several spiral bands were revolving around the core of the circulation.  Storms around the core were generating strong upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the hurricane in all directions.  Winds to hurricane force extended out about 25 miles (40 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 100 miles (160 km) from the center.

Hurricane Lane will be moving through an environment favorable for intensification on Saturday.  Lane will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 28°C.  It will move through a region where the upper level winds are weak and there is little vertical wind shear.  Lane is likely to intensify more during the next 24 hours.  If one of the rainbands wraps around the existing eye and eyewall, then an eyewall replacement cycle could cause a weakening of Hurricane Lane.

Hurricane Lane will move south of the subtropical ridge over the Eastern North Pacific Ocean.  The ridge will steer Lane in a general westerly direction during the next few days.  On its anticipated track Hurricane Lane could be southeast of Hawaii in about four days.