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Despite overnight rains, red flag fire warning continues

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 4:41 a.m. HST, Jan 30, 2012

Despite rain overnight and this morning, the National Weather Service says the fire danger continues on the leeward areas of most islands through this afernoon.

Forecasters say windy weather and relatively dry conditions expected today have prompted a red flag warning because of the danger that fires could spread quickly.

A weather system north of the islands is expected to bring 15 to 25 mph winds with gusts of 35 mph through this afternoon.

Winds of 20 to 30 mph with gusts of 40 mph are predicted for the summits of Mauna Loa, Mauna Kea and Haleakala, where a wind advisory is in effect through noon today. Windy weather could make driving dangerous on the mountains.

The fire warning is in effect for leeward Kauai;  the south shore, Waianae coast, and mountain areas on Olomana and the Waianae range on Oahu; leeward Molokai; leeward west Maui, the central valley to leeward Haleakala areas of Maui; and Kona and south Hawaii island.

The winds are also bringing passing showers to leeward Oahu overnight and this morning. But forecasters expect drier conditions later today. Humidity could drop to about 44 percent and temperatures in the 80s are forecast.

As the weather system moves closer, winds should subside. But the approaching system may bring more rain on Thursday.

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