This enhanced satellite image of Hurricane Lane from early today shows the storm within 1,000 miles southeast of Hilo.
"A motion between west and west-northwest is expected during the entire forecast period, and Lane is forecast to cross into the central Pacific basin on Saturday", the NHC said.
Hurricane Lane is the sixth hurricane of the 2018 Pacific season and is projected to cross into the central Pacific on Saturday.
Lane is now undergoing rapid intensification, which is expected to peak within the next 24-36 hours, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles (35 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 105 miles (165 km).
The latest NHC advisory warns that strengthening is expected over the weekend. The agency expects the storm to strengthen into a major hurricane - Category 3 or higher - later Friday.
The 5-day forecast has Lane passing about 300 miles to the south of Hawaiʻi Tuesday into Wednesday; but forecasters say the system is still too soon to know if Lane will directly affect the Hawaiian Islands. However, Lane will likely remain a powerful hurricane through Monday night.
Derek Wroe, forecaster with the National Weather Service in Honolulu, said: "Warm ocean water is the fuel for hurricanes". "Interests in those islands should watch the progress of Lane closely, since long-range forecast track and intensity errors can be large".