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Hurricane Lane rapidly strengthening, expected to pass south of Hawaii next week

Staff Writer | August 17, 2018
Hurricane Lane has slightly increased in intensity and is expected to become a major hurricane by Saturday, according to officials with the National Weather Service.
Hurricane Lane
Weather   The cyclone is now packing 80 mph winds
Lane is now the sixth hurricane of the 2018 Pacific season, and is expected to cross into the Central Pacific on Saturday as a major storm.

The cyclone strengthened into a hurricane Thursday afternoon, and is now packing 80 mph winds.

At about 10:40 p.m. Thursday, Lane was located located about 1,620 miles west-southwest of the southern tip of Baja California, Mexico, or 1,675 miles east-southeast of Hilo.

It was moving west-northwest at about 16 mph, and that general motion is expected to strengthen over the next few days.

Hurricane-force winds extend 15 miles from the center of the storm, while tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles.

"Lane is poised to rapidly intensify shortly, and sustain that trend for the next 36 hours or so," the National Hurricane Center said.

As it's still very far away, it's too early to tell how the storm could affect the Hawaiian Islands. But forecasters are urging Hawaii residents to watch Lane closely as it marches toward the Central Pacific.