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Hurricane Lane intensifies to Category 3 storm

  • Five-day forecast track for Hurricane Lane issued at 5 p.m. Hawaii time on Friday. (NHC)

KAILUA-KONA — Hurricane Lane continued to intensify Friday, becoming a Category 3 storm as it continued its westward track toward Hawaii Island.

Packing 120 mph winds, Lane was located about 1,405 miles east-southeast of Hilo as of 5 p.m. Hawaii time on Friday, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami. It was headed west at 16 mph.

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Additional strengthening is expected through this morning, and forecasters say Lane could become a Category 4 hurricane early today.

After that, some fluctuations in intensity are expected tonight and Sunday.

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National Hurricane Center forecasters will monitor the cyclone until it enters the Central Pacific basin today, at which point forecasters at the Honolulu-based Central Pacific Hurricane Center will assume responsibility.

Forecasters said Friday it was too soon to know if Lane will directly affect the Hawaiian Islands. However, by Tuesday evening, current forecast models have Lane a Category 1 storm circulating 90 mph winds located about 370 miles south-southwest of Hilo and 340 miles south of South Point.