Lane, a Category 4 storm moving northwest at 7 miles per hour with maximum sustained winds of 145 miles per hour, will have its center "move very close to or over the main Hawaiian Islands" Thursday through Friday, the National Weather Service said Wednesday night local time.
Lane is expected to weaken slowly through Friday, but it still is forecast "to remain a risky hurricane as it draws closer to the Hawaiian Islands", the National Weather Service's Central Pacific Hurricane Center says.
There is chaos in Hawaii as the islands brace themselves for impact.
The storm's center, with maximum sustained winds near 130 mph, was in the Pacific about 210 miles south-southwest of the Big Island town of Kailua-Kona around 5 a.m. HT Thursday (11 a.m. ET).
Torrential rains from powerful Hurricane Lane are buffeting the Big Island, triggering flooding and closing roads. The last time the island was hit by an equivalent hurricane was in 1992 when Hurricane Iniki passed directly over the island and caused over $1.8 billion in damage and six deaths.
The National Weather Service has also released a high surf warning for all the islands, with waves expected to reach up to 20 feet.
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A hurricane warning is in effect for the Big Island as well as Maui County and Oahu - meaning hurricane conditions are expected there.
Oahu and Kauai County - including Kauai and Niihau islands - have a hurricane watch in place.
President Trump "swiftly approved" it, he said. The center of the system could move close to or over portions of the main islands on Thursday or Friday. Many state workers were sent home indefinitely, according to CNN, and buses had been dispatched to pick up vulnerable people in Honolulu and move them to the state's limited public shelters.
However, the NWS has said that the storm, which is more than 200 miles (322 kilometers) wide, will cause significant risky weather in Hawaii even if it only skirts the state. The ships will remain at sea until the storm threat passes.
Though may hurricanes lose strength when making landfall, there is great concern that the slow-moving track of the hurricane will cause more harm, even if the hurricane loses a bit of steam on impact.
As the outer bands of Hurricane Lane continue approaching the islands, steady and heavy rain could lead to major flash flooding.