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Threat of heavy rain continues across the state

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 5:09 p.m. HST, Dec 20, 2010

Forecasters say heavy rain could continue today and a flash flood watch remains in effect for all islands through 6 a.m. tomorrow. 

Oahu was under a flash flood warning earlier in the morning as a line of rain clouds passed over the islands. But the warning was lifted by 8:30 a.m.

A flash flood watch means heavy rains -- even thundershowers -- are possible.

Moderate snowfall -- perhaps 5 inches -- is also expected on Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea through Tuesday.

The rainy weather also prompted a change in venue for tonight's Hawaii Pacific University graduation ceremony. It had been scheduled for the Waikiki Shell, but will now be held indoors at the Neal Blaisdell Center.

Weather service observations show Oahu got most of last night and yesterday's rainfall. Nearly 9 inches fell in Maunawili in the 24-hour period ending at 5:45 a.m. Other rainfall totals included 8.1 inches in Olomana, 6 inches in Kaneohe, 5.5 inches at Aloha Tower, 4.9 inches in Palolo and 4.5 inches in Manoa.

Haunama Bay and the West Loch and Ewa Villages municipal golf courses remained closed today. Warning signs remained posted at the Hawaii Kai Marina, Honolulu Harbor, Palolo Stream, Kaneohe Bay and other waterways because of numerous sewage spills and overflows yesterday. 

The state Health Department issued a brown water advisory for Oahu and Kauai, warning residents to stay out of most waterways because of contaminated storm runoff.

The Sheraton Bowl Hawaii barefoot pep rally is canceled tonight because of the weather, bowl officials said. But all other events remain on the schedule.

The chance of heavy rain is expected to diminish by tomorrow. But the weather is expected to remain cloudy and rainy through Thursday, forecasters said. Most of the rainy weather is expected to clear by Christmas Eve. But there is still a 30 percent chance of rain Friday and a 40 percent chance of rain on Christmas Day.

A rare winter tropical storm more than 1,000 miles west of Hawaii is pulling moist air from the tropics over the islands, forecasters said. 

Tropical Storm Omeka is  moving north east and is expected to dissipate.

But a weakening storm front to the north is heading to the islands and may bring rain showers through Thursday. Those showers will most likely happen in windward and mauka sections of all islands.

"It's kind of a complex system here. We've got a number of different things in play," said Matt Foster, a forecaster with the National Weather Service.

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