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After wet and wild Friday, expect more of same today

By Gary T. Kubota

LAST UPDATED: 9:18 a.m. HST, Jun 4, 2011

More thunderstorms are in the forecast today across the state, following a stormy Friday in which lightning struck two Oahu houses, thunder triggered car alarms, thousands of homes and businesses lost electricity and more than 4 inches of rain fell in a 24-hour period in some areas.

The city said West Loch Golf Course will be closed today for a second day because of the weather.

The city closed five municipal golf courses Friday — Ewa Villages, Kahuku, Pali, Ted Makalena and West Loch — because of lightning.

Honolulu Airport had record rainfall for a June 3, with 0.92 inches recorded by 4 p.m. over 16 hours.

The previous record was 0.41 for the full 24 hours under rainfall records dating back to 1946, the National Weather Service said.

Skies will continue to fluctuate between foul and fair.

"The clusters (of storms) develop. They last for a while, dissipate. … It's very sporadic," said Robert Ballard, National Weather Service lead forecaster.

Ballard said thunderstorms are unusual for June, when the summer tradewinds usually prevail.

"This is more typical of a winter system," he said.

The chance of thunderstorms is expected to decrease after today, but expect some rain through next week, the Weather Service said.

For the next few afternoons, there is also a higher-than-normal potential for lightning-ignited wildfires, forecasters warned.

Lightning was suspected of causing a fire at a Laniakea home and also struck a house in Mililani.

As firefighters fought the Haleiwa fire, power to about 800 customers was shut down, and a major outage affecting 8,500 customers at its peak occurred in the Waipio Gentry and Waipahu.

Flooding prompted police to close, then contra-flow a portion of Kamehameha Highway at Waikane. Kapaa Quarry Road also was closed.

For the 24-hour period ending 5 p.m. Friday, a rain gauge at Moanalua measured 5.02 inches; Ahuimanu Loop, 4.75 inches; Waihee Pump, 4.44 inches; and Lyon Arboretum in Manoa, 3.11.

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