Friday, July 25, 2014         

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Isles due for heavy dose of wind, rain

A forecaster says gusts could reach 50 mph as a storm system moves across the state

By Leila Fujimori


Batten down the hatches.

Kauai and Oahu will continue to face the threat of thunderstorms and strong, gusty winds today.

The National Weather Service has issued a wind warning for Haleakala and the Big Island summits through 6 tonight. A flash flood watch remains in effect for Kauai, Oahu and Maui through this afternoon.

Gusts of up to 50 mph especially threaten the downslope side of mountain ranges on the northeast- facing sides of the islands.

On Oahu that includes Wahiawa, Waialua, Haleiwa and possibly Mililani as well as the Windward side. Only Oahu's South Shore will be spared from the strong gusts. All of Kauai would be affected.

"We might get frequent gusts — a few to several an hour," said National Weather Service lead forecaster Sam Houston.

Loose objects can become windblown debris, and houses can lose their roofs, Houston said.

Thunderstorms are probable through tonight for Kauai, Oahu and Maui County, although the stormy weather might let up for Kauai today.

"Definitely, it's a potent weather system," Houston said. "It's not typical in March."

The system might weaken by tomorrow, the Weather Service predicts.

"We'll just have to see what this brings us," Houston said last night. "If we're lucky the weekend will turn out nice."

The storm system will likely move down the island chain and make for a wet and windy Saturday in Maui County, he said.

Hawaii County could face stormy conditions late tomorrow or on Sunday.

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