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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, March 21, 2001

Despite spring's arrival, Islanders pull out blankets

By Curtis Lum
Advertiser Staff Writer

How cold was it the past couple of nights?

It was so cold that the bears at the zoo went into hibernation. It was so cold that union leaders snuggled up to Gov. Ben Cayetano for warmth.

Well, it may not have been THAT cold, but temperatures across the state did dip into the low 60s the last two evenings, forcing residents to bring out the extra blankets.

The chilly weather is expected to continue for the next couple of nights with temperatures hovering near 60, said Tim Craig, the National Weather Service's lead forecaster.

The lowest temperature reported on O'ahu yesterday was 61 degrees in Kane'ohe. But Craig said he did not get a reading from Wahiawa, where temperatures are always a few degrees lower.

The cooler weather is being caused by cool, dry air and cloudless nights, Craig said. He said it's difficult to forecast Hawai'i's version of bone-chilling weather because of the unpredictability of cloud cover.

"Clouds act sort of like a blanket. So if it's clear, then it'll get down to nearly 60 degrees in a good number of places. But if the clouds stay in, it could be up in the mid-60s," he said.

The record low temperature for March is 51 degrees, recorded at Lihu'e Airport in 1955.

The state's record low of 48 degrees was registered Jan. 20, 1969, at Kahului Airport, Craig said. Honolulu International Airport's record low of 53 degrees was reached on six different dates.