Sponsored by:

Comment, blog & share photos

Log in | Become a member
The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, December 29, 2003

Storm not through with Hawai'i yet

By Karen Blakeman
Advertiser Staff Writer

The Islands aren't out of the woods yet for those heavy rains the National Weather Service has been forecasting, and parts of the state are seeing some pretty unusual weather, by Hawai'i standards.

Heavy rain last night in flood-prone Mapunapuna turned parts of Ahua Street into ponds. Heavy showers are likely over the next couple of days.

Gregory Yamamoto • The Honolulu Advertiser

"Hail!" said Kaua'i resident Clifford Ishii. "In Waimea! What next? Snow?"

Well, yes. The road to the top of Mauna Kea was closed yesterday because of drifting snow; drifts above the 13,000-foot level were up to 2 feet high.

Hail also fell on the Leeward Coast of O'ahu.

A few places across the state got heavy rain by last night, according to Bob Farrell, lead forecaster of the National Weather Service in Honolulu, and scattered but heavy showers remain likely throughout the next couple of days, with the possibility of rain continuing well into the week.

Parts of Hawai'i Kai got more than 5 inches of rain between 2 and 5 p.m. yesterday, and a gauge in the mountains above Nanakuli collected nearly 1 1/2 inches in less than half an hour.

Ishii, in Waimea Valley, said his wife called him to the front door at about 2:30 p.m. to watch the pea-sized hail fall.

Radar also picked up hail in the Wai'anae Mountains of O'ahu, Farrell said.

"The air aloft is very cold — minus 20 degrees at 20,000 feet," he said. "The water gets pushed up to where it freezes, and comes down fast as hailstones.

"We'll probably see more of that today or Tuesday."

Farrell said a storm system moved in over the state late Saturday, streaking the skies with lightning and leaving the islands beneath its large, cold center yesterday and today.

"It should start moving west again on Tuesday," he said. "We may have more rain on its eastern edge."

Another weather system poised to bump up against this one could cause the rain to continue into the weekend, he said.

Reach Karen Blakeman at 535-2430 or kblakeman@honoluluadvertiser.com.