Expect rough weather to last up to a week
By Curtis Lum
Advertiser Staff Writer
If you're planning a picnic or outing at the beach anytime soon, don't, because yesterday's strong winds and heavy rains are expected to continue until Friday.
An upper-air system called a kona low is being blamed for the bad weather throughout the state.
A wind advisory was in effect for all islands with winds up to 35 mph forecast through tonight.
The winds should begin to drop tomorrow and will be in the 15- to 30-mph range through Monday, said National Weather Service lead forecaster Bob Farrell. But Farrell said it should remain windy and rainy with the chance of thunderstorms through Friday.
"It's very unstable and that makes it very hard to predict where things will happen," he said of the kona low.
The worst weather was reported on the east side of the Big Island, where 3 inches of rain fell in a 40-minute period just north of Hilo yesterday, Farrell said. A flash-flood watch was in effect until this morning for east Hawai'i.
There was some street flooding in downtown Hilo and a report of minor traffic accidents blamed on the poor weather conditions. Lt. Louis Ondo said police were responding to numerous crashes but that no major injuries had been reported.
Hawai'i County civil defense officials closed Hilo's main surfing beach at Honoli'i, as well as the Mauna Kea summit access road because of ice, sleet and strong winds.
On O'ahu, a home on Kaloaluiki Place in Manoa and one on Alaneo Street in Palama suffered wind damage to their roofs. There were no reports of flooding or major power outages.
But the soggy conditions have wiped out the city's Sunset on the Beach festivities for today and tomorrow.
A high-surf warning was in effect for the east shores of the Big Island, with rough surf expected to reach 15 feet last night. A high-surf advisory was in effect for east-facing shores of all islands.
Advertiser staff writer Hugh Clark contributed to this report.