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Rain, clouds expected to give way to trades, sunshine

After more than a week of wet weather, the isles ought to dry out in time for New Year's Day

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 1:31 a.m. HST, Dec 29, 2010

The sun started to make a comeback yesterday afternoon as the weather system that brought rain and cloudy skies to Kauai, Oahu and Maui last weekend began to dissipate.

"We still have scattered and numerous showers across the area, but we're not expecting heavy rainfall like the past few days," said John Bravender, a forecaster with the National Weather Service.

A weather system northwest of the state that has been pulling up moisture from the south was breaking up faster than expected, Bravender said.

A flash flood watch for Oahu and Kauai was canceled yesterday afternoon. Sunshine and cooling tradewinds from the northeast should return this morning and stay through New Year's Day, when light to moderate trades are expected to clear smoky skies from fireworks.

Rain overnight Monday and yesterday morning caused a few problems with road, park and golf course closings.

The city closed Kamehameha Highway between Kahekili Highway and Lulani Street because of a collapsed hillside retaining wall. Traffic was detoured along Lu-lani Street.

Peter Hirai, deputy director of the Department of Emergency Management, said city employees were clearing a landslide off a 10-foot section of highway Monday night when a residential rock wall collapsed.

The Ewa Villages and West Loch golf courses remained closed yesterday because of the saturated grounds. The Ted Makalena golf course was open only on the front nine.

The Waipio Peninsula Soccer Complex and Central Oahu Regional Park was closed yesterday and will remain closed today, a city spokeswoman said.

Nearly a half inch of rain was reported at Honolulu Airport yesterday morning. Pacific Palisades and Waianae also reported showers.

The storm also caused minor flooding yesterday.

In the 24-hour period ending at 2 a.m. yesterday, the storm dropped nearly 3.5 inches of rain on Hanalei where the Hanalei Bridge was closed for more than three hours because of flooding. Kokee got 3.2 inches, and more than 4 inches fell at Puu Opae above Kekaha.

On Oahu, 3.7 inches fell on Poamoho near Wahiawa; 4.3 inches was recorded at Palehua near Makakilo; and 2.3 inches fell in Waianae.

Bravender said today should see a return to the usual windward and mauka shower pattern.

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