KAILUA-KONA — Tropical Storm Lane developed into a hurricane Thursday afternoon, National Hurricane Center forecasters said.
The center of the storm was located about 1,780 miles east-southeast of Hilo and heading west-northwest at 15 mph, forecasters with the Miami-based National Hurricane Center said at 5 p.m. Hawaii time. It was packing 75 mph winds at the time.
Rapid strengthening is expected for the next 36 to 48 hours as the hurricane encounters very low vertical wind shear and warm sea surface temperatures. Lane is forecast to become a major hurricane by Saturday, forecasters said. Little change in strength is expected on Sunday when the storm’s expected to be circulating 125 mph winds.
By Tuesday evening, current forecast models have Lane a category 2 storm circulating 110 mph winds located about 300 miles south-southeast of Hilo.
National Hurricane Center forecasters will monitor the cyclone until it enters the Central Pacific basin this weekend, at which point forecasters at the Honolulu-based Central Pacific Hurricane Center will assume responsibility.