Hurricane Lane threatens Hawaiian Islands

by Jon Sonnenschein on August 23, 2018

Image result for hurricane laneHurricane Lane barrels towards Hawaii (photo courtesy of

Almost exactly one year after Hurricane Harvey dropped 50 inches of rain on Texas, Hurricane Lane, a Category 4 cyclone, is now barreling towards the Hawaiian islands, with its outer rainbands already drenching the Big Island. Forecasters say that it’s on course to move very close to the islands, or, make landfall from Thursday through Friday. With the likelihood of a direct hit growing, authorities have urged residents to set aside two weeks worth of food and water.

Just when the forecasts were calling for a below average hurricane season, Hurricane Lane entered the fast lane on its way to Hawaii. All of the Hawaiian islands are under weather alerts, as tropical force winds currently stretch over 230 miles, greater than the distance from Hilo to Honolulu. Here’s what we know right now:

  • 7-12 inches of rain has already fallen on the Big Island, triggering landslides
  • 10-30 inches of rain forecasted through the weekend
  • Could be the first major cyclone to hit Hawaii in 26 years
  • Current maximum sustained winds of 130 MPH
  • Tropical-storm-force winds (39 to 73 mph) expected in most areas of the islands
  • Water levels may rise by as much as 2 to 4 feet above normal tide levels along coasts

The state is preparing for rainfall “in feet” as Lane moves closer to the islands, and with at least tropical-storm-force winds expected in most areas over the next few days, the combination of rain and wind is expected to cause major flooding, downed trees, and heavy landslides/mudslides. For Hawaii, Lane represents just the latest natural catastrophe, as the state has already experienced torrential flooding, earthquakes, and a volcanic eruption in 2018 so far. While Hawaii has taken the brunt of many of the natural disasters in the U.S. so far this year, hurricane season is officially underway and it's likely we'll see more regular activity in the rest of the country as the season unfolds.


With the storm imminent, here are some tips for using SpatialKey to weather the storm:

  • Access Hurricane Lane’s current storm path to prepare your plan of action. By leveraging the storm path provided by NOAA, and easily accessible via SpatialKey, you can track the storm as it approaches.
  • Manage your event response by using the information within SpatialKey to make recommendations to your insureds that will help mitigate damage.
  • Analyze the storm track against your current portfolio to understand your exposure concentration, not only to determine the potential cost of claims, but also to proactively prepare your claims team to mobilize and respond to insureds.
  • Understand your exposure to wind, flood, and storm surge by filtering and segmenting data based on characteristics such as wind speed, construction type, and line of business.
  • Evaluate the path of the storm and gauge “what-if” scenarios to understand the potential impact to your portfolio.

Image result for hurricane laneHurricane Lane storm track (photo courtesy of

Preparing your insureds in Hawaii for Hurricane Lane will be no easy task, especially with the uncertainty of a direct hit. So, make sure to check back here for the latest forecasts, wind speeds, flood depths, and rainfall. And, check with your SpatialKey account manager regarding what information will be available throughout the course of this event. Now is the time to mitigate risk and be proactive with your outreach by putting data and analytics to work for you, and we’re here to help with this event, and the next!

To learn more about accessing the latest Hurricane Lane data and analyzing it against your own portfolio, don’t hesitate to reach out today.

Topics: Hurricane Data, Hurricane Season, Flood risk

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