Hurricane Lane has weakened but only slightly as it continues on an apparent collision course with the islands.
That means all University of Hawaiʻi campuses and all non-essential university operations on Hawaiʻi Island, Maui, Molokaʻi and Lānai will be closed until further notice.
Southern and southeastern areas of the island can also expect similar wind conditions as the leeward areas, however, rainfall could total more than 2 feet in areas of Ka'u.
Forecasters warned of large swells that could produce unsafe surf and strong currents along some shorelines, beginning Wednesday on the Big Island. "Excessive rainfall associated with Lane is expected to affect portions of the Hawaiian Islands from late today into the weekend".
Flash flooding and landslides are also expected in the state along with 10 to 15 inches of rain.
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The hurricane center has posted hurricane warnings for the Big Island and Maui, where tropical-storm-force winds may begin between Wednesday night and Thursday morning.
Meteorologist Gavin Shigesato said: "It is much too early to confidently determine which, if any, of the main Hawaiian islands will be directly impacted by Lane".
A hurricane warning is in effect for Hawaii County and Maui County, including the islands of Maui, Lanai, Molokai and Kahoolawe.
Governor David Ige signed an emergency proclamation ahead of Lane's onset, as "the danger of disaster is of such magnitude to warrant pre-emptive and protective action".
Sandbags are seen near a stairway at the west end of the Sheraton Waikiki hotel in Honolulu in preparation for Hurricane Lane.
In fact, Hawaii has weathered landfalls from only two tropical storms and two hurricanes since 1959, CNN reported.
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A flash flood watch is in effect for the island of Hawaii.
The National Weather Service issued a hurricane warning Tuesday evening for the Big Island (Hawaii island). Lane is only one of two category 5 hurricanes to pass within 350 miles of the state according to database records.
The Hurricane Center urged residents of Hawaii to prepare for the storm.
The latest forecast model indicates Lane will remain a very strong, and unsafe storm.
As Lane is expected to be slow-moving as it nears the islands, it will produce large and damaging surf. Hurricane watches are in effect for Maui, Oahu, and other small islands.
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