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Flood watch and wind advisory lifted, but rains will continue

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 3:50 p.m. HST, Dec 12, 2011

The state is "drying out" after a windy and rainy weekend, but there's still a threat of heavy rain, perhaps even a thunderstorm in the forecast and breezy tradewinds will stick around through today, National Weather Service forecasters say.

The weather service lifted a flash a state-wide flash flood watch and wind advisory for Oahu, Lanai and Haleakala this morning. But a high surf advisory remains in effect for east shores of most islands with wave faces of 6 to 10 feet expected today and 1 to 2 inches of snow and sleet and freezing rain is predicted for the summits of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, which are under a winter weather advisory.

This morning a landslides covered the Hilo-bound lane of the Hawaii Belt Highway at Maulua and Kaawalii gulches on the Hamakua Coast. The landslide followed a day of heavy rain along the coast. About 7.8 inches of rain fell on Lapahoehoe in the 24-hour period ending at 8 a.m. About 7.7 inches fell on Kawainui Stream, and 7.2 inches was recorded in Honokaa.

The Health Department issued a brown water advisory warning residents to stay out of waters contaminated with runoff on Hawaii island and Maui.

Today's forecast calls for winds from the northeast at 15 to 25 mph with windward and mauka showers and scattered leeward showers.

The weather should slowly improve, although scattered showers remain in the forecast and another weather system may bring heavier showers on Friday. More pleasant tradewind weather should return next weekend.

The wintery weather is blamed on a weather system that's bringing up moisture from the south and by cold air in the upper atmosphere that's creating unstable weather conditions.

Forecasters say the colder temperatures in the upper atmosphere should warm up as the week goes on.

In addition, a high pressure system north of the islands is sending us breezy tradewinds.

The winds caused some power outages Sunday on Oahu and may have knocked down a utility pole in Kakaako on Sunday.

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