POSTED: 1:08 a.m. HST, Mar 4, 2011
Batten down the hatches. Kauai and Oahu continue to face the threat of thunderstorms and strong, gusty winds tonight.
The National Weather Service has issued a wind warning for Haleakala and the Big Island summits through 6 p.m. A flash flood watch remains in effect for Kauai, Oahu and Maui through the 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 may let up for Kauai.
"Definitely, it's a potent weather system," Houston said. "It's not typical in March."
The system might weaken by Saturday, the weather service predicts.
"We'll just have to see what this brings us," Houston said Wednesday 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.
The Big Island could face stormy conditions late Saturday or on Sunday.