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Hurricane watch issued for Hawaii's Big Island, Maui

SkyWatch17

UPDATE:

The National Weather Service has issued a hurricane watch for parts of Hawaii.

Senior Honolulu forecaster Tom Birchard says the watch for Hurricane Lane has been issued for the island of Hawaii and Maui County, which includes the island of Maui and other smaller islands.

Hurricane conditions could reach those areas within 48 hours. He says it's possible Oahu and Kaui might eventually be included in a watch.

The hurricane is category 4 with winds to 150 mph (241 kph).

It has been moving west but is expected to turn toward northwest toward the state.

Birchard says Hawaii residents could be slammed with heavy rain, flash flooding and high surf even if the center doesn't reach the islands.

Birchard says residents likely will have Tuesday and Wednesday to prepare.

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Weather forecasters warn that the entire state of Hawaii needs to brace for a possible hurricane strike.

The National Weather Service says that's because of the uncertainty of Hurricane Lane's path and intensity.

As of Monday, the storm is about 600 miles (966 kilometers) southeast of Hilo on the Big Island, or about 800 miles (1,287 kilometers) from the state's capital city of Honolulu.

The service says a tropical storm or hurricane watch may be required for parts of Hawaii later Monday.

Lane is expected to take a northwest turn toward Hawaii Tuesday or Wednesday.

Meteorologist Leigh Anne Eaton says even if Lane doesn't make landfall, there could be rain, high surf and wind.

Eaton says the earliest parts of the state could see tropical storm-force winds would be Wednesday.

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