Key facts about potential hurricane heading toward Hawaii

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Tropical Storm Hurricane Ana
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Key facts about potential hurricane heading toward Hawaii
People watch high surf at South Point, Hawaii on Friday, Oct. 17, 2014 as Hurricane Ana carved a path just south of the island state. The storm prompted a flood advisory and winds strong enough for officials to urge caution. (AP Photo/Audrey McAvoy)
A county bus is stranded on Highway 11 in Naalehu, Hawaii where heavy rains from Hurricane Ana flooded the road on Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014. Hurricane Ana was on course to miss Hawaii by more than a hundred miles but was generating high waves, strong winds and heavy rains that prompted flash-flood warnings throughout the islands. (AP Photo/Audrey McAvoy)
This image provided by NOAA shows tropical storm Ana taken Saturday Oct. 18, 2014 at 2:00 a.m. EDT. The National Weather Service said Friday that Ana became a Category 1 hurricane about 230 miles south of Hilo with maximum sustained winds of 80 mph. It was churning along its course at 13 mph. The hurricane was expected to gradually weaken to become a tropical storm again by early Sunday morning, Chris Brenchley, a weather service meteorologist said. The center of the powerful Pacific storm was expected to remain 150 miles away from the Big Island as it passed late Friday night. (AP Photo/NOAA)
Surfers paddle out to catch waves, Friday, Oct. 17, 2014 near Waikiki Beach in Honolulu. Hurricane Ana remained far enough away from the Hawaiian islands to allow tourists to enjoy the mostly sunny weather. (AP Photo/Cathy Bussewitz)
Tourists play in the waves, Friday, Oct. 17, 2014 at Waikiki Beach in Honolulu. Hurricane Ana remained far enough away from the Hawaiian islands to allow tourists to enjoy the mostly sunny weather. (AP Photo/Cathy Bussewitz)
Surfers and stand-up paddle boarders catch waves, Friday, Oct. 17, 2014 at Waikiki Beach in Honolulu. Hurricane Ana remained far enough away from the Hawaiian islands to allow tourists to enjoy the mostly sunny weather. (AP Photo/Cathy Bussewitz)
This image provided by NOAA shows tropical storm Ana taken Friday Oct. 17, 2014 at 2:00 a.m. EDT. Tropical Storm Ana likely will become a hurricane by Friday evening but return to tropical storm strength Saturday morning, National Weather Service meteorologist Ray Tanabe said. (AP Photo/NOAA)
NOAA satellite image of Tropical Storm Ana taken on Thursday morning, October 16, 2014. Forecasters expect Ana to approach Hawaii's big island as a hurricane on Friday.
NOAA five-day storm track for Tropical Storm Ana issued on Thursday morning, October 16, 2014. Forecasters expect Ana to approach Hawaii's big island as a hurricane on Friday.
Supporters of Republican candidate for governor Duke Aiona stand in the rain while waving at a passing car in Naalehu, Hawaii on Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014. Hurricane Ana was on course to miss Hawaii by more than a hundred miles but was generating high waves, strong winds and heavy rains that prompted flash-flood warnings throughout the islands. (AP Photo/Audrey McAvoy)
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HONOLULU (AP) -- Residents on Hawaii's southernmost island already dealt with one tropical storm this year and are coping with the threat of slowly encroaching lava. Now, meteorologists say a potential hurricane is heading toward them and the rest of the island chain.

Here are some questions and answers about the latest storm:

WHEN IS IT EXPECTED TO HIT?

Tropical Storm Ana was forecast to become a hurricane as it moved northwest toward the Hawaiian Islands. The Big Island's southeastern shores could experience heavy rains and high surf by Friday afternoon. Winds could blow up to 70 mph.

"The Big Island is going to see these effects first," said Eric Lau, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Honolulu. "And then depending on how the system evolves, whether it weakens or maintains itself, parts of the other islands should see very similar effects."

The current forecast calls for the storm to pass southwest of the Big Island on Saturday before heading south of Oahu on Sunday and Kauai the following day.

WHAT ABOUT EFFORTS TO DEAL WITH THE LAVA?

For several weeks, lava from Kilauea volcano has been inching toward Pahoa, a small historic town in the mostly rural district of Puna, and the main highway connecting the area with the rest of the island. The storm could ground helicopter surveys of the lava that Hawaii County and geologists have been conducting.

Heavy rain and wind also could force workers to suspend the rebuilding Chain of Craters Road, a route partially covered by past lava flows that the county wants to use as an alternate roadway for residents if the latest flow crosses the highway.

Wet weather has kept the lava from starting fires in wooded areas. But the molten rock is being expelled from deep within the Earth and heavy rains would not stop its flow.

WHAT'S HAPPENED SINCE THE LAST STORM?

Power has been restored and downed trees cleared in the Puna district since Tropical Storm Iselle hit in August.

But the land is saturated in the Kau area on the Big Island's southwestern side after flooding there in recent weeks. The county is preparing for the storm to bring more flooding in this area, said Darryl Oliveira, director of Hawaii County civil defense.

HOW ARE PEOPLE PREPARING?

The governor on Wednesday proclaimed an emergency to help the state respond to the storm. The state Department of Education plans to close Big Island public schools on Friday. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park will also be closed.

Oliveira said residents should store water to help prevent the water shortages that hit areas when Iselle knocked out power in August.

There's no need to buy containers, he said, if people have receptacles at home they can use to store drinking water. He suggested filling a bathtub with water to flush toilets.

"Those are simple things that the average homeowner could do ahead of time that doesn't cost much and could put them in a better position for post-impact recovery," Oliveira said.

Hawaii Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman Shelley Kunishige said the state is encouraging people to review their emergency plans, monitor media and use the hashtag (hash)anahawaii when tweeting.

"We've had many quiet years. And this year seems to making up for it," said Kunishige.

BESIDES STORMS AND VOLCANOS, THE BIG ISLAND HAS EARTHQUAKES. WHY LIVE THERE?

Unlike Honolulu, the state's biggest city on the island of Oahu, the Big Island still has affordable land and can offer a more rural way of life.

Residents know the risks and take steps to protect themselves. For instance, there are special insurance requirements to buy land in certain lava zones. Many also live off the grid, using solar panels for power and catchment tanks for water supply.

WHEN WAS HAWAII'S LAST HURRICANE?

Iniki slammed into Kauai as a Category 4 hurricane in 1992, killing six people and destroying more than 1,400 homes.

In August, Iselle approached the Big Island as a hurricane, but it weakened to a tropical storm when it made landfall. It still caused damage. State officials postponed voting in a primary election in two badly hit precincts, though balloting was held in the rest of Hawaii as scheduled.

Previously on AOL.com:

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Rainbow falls plus Tropical storm Iselle and Hurricane Julio
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Key facts about potential hurricane heading toward Hawaii
Rainbow Falls in Wailuku River State Park, Hilo, Hawaii (Photo by Visions of America/UIG via Getty Images)
Due to heavy rain a steady flow is seen on Wed. Dec. 31, 2008 at Rainbow fall in Hilo, Hawaii. The town of Hilo has recorded over 22 inches of rainfall since Christmas Day. Forecasters are calling for more precipitation for New Year's day and though the rest of the week. (AP Photo/Tim Wright)
Amazing sight here in Hilo, HI. The Wailuku River rose 13 feet in just 12 hours, says @WXmel6. http://t.co/i253kQSnXA
Rainbow Falls in Hilo is raging in the wake of #Iselle (via @weatherchannel): http://t.co/bEL6CHt7D8 http://t.co/GNKUoRFJFD
Rain falls on Diamond Head and Waikiki in Honolulu on the island of Oahu on Friday, Aug, 8, 2014. Iselle came ashore onto the Big Island early Friday as a weakened tropical storm, while Hurricane Julio, close behind it, strengthened and is forecasted to pass north of the islands. Iselle is the first tropical storm to hit the state in 22 years. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
Two surfers head for the waves in Honolulu on Friday, Aug, 8, 2014. High surf is expected in some spots on Oahu due to Tropical Storm Iselle. Iselle came ashore early Friday as a weakened tropical storm, while Hurricane Julio, close behind it, strengthened and is forecasted to pass north of the islands. Iselle is the first tropical storm to hit the state in 22 years. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
With a rainbow in the background, a surfer paddles to shore in Honolulu on Friday, Aug, 8, 2014. Iselle came ashore early Friday as a weakened tropical storm, while Hurricane Julio, close behind it, strengthened and is forecasted to pass north of the islands. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
In preparation for heavy winds, workers at the Hale Koa Hotel remove an awning from an outdoor stage in Honolulu on Friday, Aug, 8, 2014. Iselle came ashore early Friday as a weakened tropical storm, while Hurricane Julio, close behind it, strengthened and is forecasted to pass north of the islands. Iselle is the first tropical storm to hit the state in 22 years. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
This image provided by NOAA taken Wednesday Aug. 6, 2014 shows Hurricane Iselle, center, and tropical storm Julio, right. Though it's not clear how damaging the storms could be, many in Hawaii aren't taking any chances as they wait for Hurricane Iselle to make landfall later this week and Tropical Storm Julio potentially hitting a few days later. (AP Photo/NOAA)
Shoppers lift cases of bottled water in preparation for a hurricane and tropical storm heading toward Hawaii at the Iwilei Costco in Honolulu on Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. Two big storms so close together is rare in the eastern Pacific. Hurricane Iselle could make landfall by Friday and Tropical Storm Julio could hit two or three days later, weather officials said. (AP Photo/Audrey McAvoy)
Shoppers stock up on cases of bottled water and other supplies in preparation for a hurricane and tropical storm heading toward Hawaii at the Iwilei Costco in Honolulu on Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. Two big storms so close together is rare in the eastern Pacific, and Hurricane Iselle could make landfall by Friday and Tropical Storm Julio could hit two or three days later, weather officials said. (AP Photo/Audrey McAvoy)
Acting Director Tom Evans of the Central Pacific Hurricane Center speaks during a briefing in Honolulu on Wednesday, May 21, 2014. Weather forecasters are predicting four to seven tropical cyclones in the central Pacific Ocean during this year's hurricane season. (AP Photo/Oskar Garcia)
Pedestrians walk along Waikiki beach in Honolulu on Monday, July 29, 2013 as Tropical Storm Flossie approached Hawaii. The storm faded through the morning, but forecasters were still warning residents and tourists to brace for possible flooding, wind gusts, mudslides and big waves. (AP Photo/Audrey McAvoy)
This image provided by NOAA taken at 2 a.m. EDT Friday Aug. 8, 2014 shows Hurricane Iselle approaching the Island of Hawaii, left as Hurricane Julio with a well defined eye follows. (AP Photo/NOAA)
Few people visited Waikiki beach in Honolulu on Monday, July 29, 2013 as Tropical Storm Flossie approached Hawaii. The storm faded through the morning, but forecasters were still warning residents and tourists to brace for possible flooding, wind gusts, mudslides and big waves. (AP Photo/Audrey McAvoy)
A sea turtle lies on the beach in Kailua, Hawaii on Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014. With Iselle, Hawaii is expected to take its first direct hurricane hit in 22 years. Tracking close behind it is Hurricane Julio. (AP Photo/Chris Stewart)
A sign inside the Walmart McDonalds restaurant alerts customers that it sent its employees home early in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014, as the area prepares for Hurricane Iselle. Hurricane Iselle is expected to arrive on the Big Island on Thursday evening, bringing heavy rains, winds gusting up to 85 mph and flooding in some areas. Weather officials changed their outlook on the system Wednesday after seeing it get a little stronger, giving it enough oomph to stay a hurricane as it reaches landfall. (AP Photo/Chris Stewart)
A hurricane warning sign is shown posted on the beach in Kailua, Hawaii, Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014., as the area prepares for Hurricane Iselle. Hurricane Iselle is expected to arrive on the Big Island on Thursday evening, bringing heavy rains, winds gusting up to 85 mph and flooding in some areas. Weather officials changed their outlook on the system Wednesday after seeing it get a little stronger, giving it enough oomph to stay a hurricane as it reaches landfall. (AP Photo/Chris Stewart)
NOAA satellite loop of Tropical Storm Julio taken on Wedesday, August 6, 2014. Both Julio and Hurricane Iselle are heading for Hawaii in an unusual one-two punch of Pacific tropical storm systems.
NOAA's GOES-West satellite captured this image of a very active Eastern and Central Pacific, hosting three tropical cyclones (from left to right) Genevieve, Iselle and Julio.
NOAA satellite loop of Hurricane Iselle and Hurricane Julio taken on Wednesday, August 6, 2014. Both are heading for Hawaii in an unusual one-two punch of Pacific tropical storm systems.
A sea turtle lies on the beach in Kailua, Hawaii on Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014. With Iselle, Hawaii is expected to take its first direct hurricane hit in 22 years. Tracking close behind it is Hurricane Julio. (AP Photo/Chris Stewart)
NASA’s Terra satellite captured this natural-color image of Hurricane Iselle over the Pacific Ocean at 10:40 a.m. Hawaiian daylight time on August 4, 2014.
This image provided by NOAA taken at 2 a.m. EDT Friday Aug. 8, 2014 shows Hurricane Iselle approaching the Island of Hawaii, left as Hurricane Julio with a well defined eye follows. (AP Photo/NOAA)
Clouds hang over Honolulu, seen from the top of Tanalus Drive on Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014. With Iselle, Hawaii is expected to take its first direct hurricane hit in 22 years. Tracking close behind it is Hurricane Julio. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 6: In this handout provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) from the GOES-East satellite, four separate weather system (L-R) Halong, Genevieve, Iselle, and Julio are tracked in the Pacific Ocean off the west coast of the United States pictured at 0z on August 6, 2014. High pressure from the North is forcing Hurricane Iselle, with top winds of 85 miles and Hurricane Julio, with winds of 75 mph towards the islands of Hawaii. (Photo by NOAA via Getty Images)
Graphic shows the current and forecasted location and storm information for Hurricanes Iselle and Julio; 3c x 3 3/4 inches; 146 mm x 95 mm;
NOAA satellite loop of Hurricane Iselle and Hurricane Julio taken on Thursday, August 7, 2014. Both are heading for Hawaii in a rare case of back-to-back hurricanes for Hawaii. Iselle will be the first hurricane to hit Hawaii in 22 years.
NOAA satellite loop of Hurricane Iselle and Hurricane Julio taken on Wednesday, August 6, 2014. Both are heading for Hawaii in an unusual one-two punch of Pacific tropical storm systems.
Staff members of the Royal Kona Resort in Kailua, Hawaii take down umbrellas as the resort prepares for Hurricane Iselle on Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014. Hurricane Iselle is expected to arrive on the Big Island on Thursday evening, bringing heavy rains, winds gusting up to 85 mph and flooding in some areas. Weather officials changed their outlook on the system Wednesday after seeing it get a little stronger, giving it enough oomph to stay a hurricane as it reaches landfall. (AP Photo/Chris Stewart)
Graphic shows the current and forecasted location and storm information for Hurricanes Iselle and Julio; 3c x 3 3/4 inches; 146 mm x 95 mm;
A traffic jam forms in front of the Menehune Water Company as customers wait to purchase water from the company, Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014, in Aiea, Hawaii. Hawaii is bracing for two back to back hurricanes, Iselle and Julio, which are on course to hit the Islands. Bottles of water are quickly disappearing off shelves in Hawaii causing many people to line up for several hours to purchase water directly from the water company. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)

NOAA satellite loop of Hurricane Iselle and Hurricane Julio taken on Thursday, August 7, 2014. Both are heading for Hawaii in a rare case of back-to-back hurricanes for Hawaii. Iselle, expected to make landfall Thursday night, will be the first hurricane to hit Hawaii in 22 years.

People line up at the Menehune Water Company to purchase cases of water and fill up water jugs in Aiea, Hawaii on Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014. With Hurricanes Iselle and Julio approaching, bottles of water are disappearing off shelves in Hawaii prompting many to line up for several hours to purchase water directly from the company. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
Beach goers are seen on Waikiki Beach, Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014, in Honolulu. Hawaii is bracing for both Hurricane Iselle and Julio which are on course to hit the Hawaiian Islands. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
People line up at the Menehune Water Company to purchase cases of water and fill up water jugs in Aiea, Hawaii on Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014. With Hurricanes Iselle and Julio approaching, bottles of water are disappearing off shelves in Hawaii prompting many to line up for several hours to purchase water directly from the company. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
On Aug. 5, the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) sensor on the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) satellite captured natural-color images of both Iselle and Hurricane Julio en route to Hawaii. This image is a composite of three satellite passes over the tropical Pacific Ocean in the early afternoon.
Anne Kllingshirn of Kailua, Hawaii walks with her daughter Emma, 1, as storm clouds are are seen during the sunrise hours on Kailua Beach, in Kailua, Hawaii, Thursday morning Aug. 7, 2014 . Hurricane Iselle is expected to arrive on the Big Island on Thursday evening, bringing heavy rains, winds gusting up to 85 mph and flooding in some areas. Weather officials changed their outlook on the system Wednesday after seeing it get a little stronger, giving it enough oomph to stay a hurricane as it reaches landfall. (AP Photo/Luci Pemoni)
While surrounded by state and local officials, Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie speaks at a news conference at the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency in Diamond Head, Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014, in Honolulu. Hawaii is bracing for two back to back hurricanes, Iselle and Julio, which are on course to hit the Hawaiian Islands. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
A group of tourists from California head into the water for a surf lesson in Waikiki in Honolulu on Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014. With Iselle, Hawaii is expected to take its first direct hurricane hit in 22 years. Tracking close behind it is Hurricane Julio. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
A couple reads a weather update written on a white board in the lobby of a hotel in Waikiki in Honolulu on Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014. With Iselle, Hawaii is expected to take its first direct hurricane hit in 22 years. Tracking close behind it is Hurricane Julio. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
Tourist Denise Newland of New Zealand reads a hurricane update in the lobby of a hotel in Waikiki in Honolulu on Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014. With Iselle, Hawaii is expected to take its first direct hurricane hit in 22 years. Tracking close behind it is Hurricane Julio. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
People walk past a pallet of bottled water being delivered to a shop in Waikiki in Honolulu on Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014. With Iselle, Hawaii is expected to take its first direct hurricane hit in 22 years. Tracking close behind it is Hurricane Julio. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
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