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Record cold spell could continue

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    This webcamera image from the Mauna Loa Observatory shows Mauna Kea topped with snow Tuesday and snow on the ground on Mauna Loa.

Record-breaking cold weather could continue Tuesday night as cool north winds and dry conditions over Oahu and Kauai brought temperatures in the 50s overnight.

The low temperature of 58 degrees at the Honolulu Airport likely broke the previous record for the date of 59 degrees set in 1974. Lihue Airport’s low of 57 degrees tied the record set in 1962. The numbers won’t become official until they are verified later Tuesday afternoon.

Monday’s low of 61 degrees tied a record set in 1981 at the Honolulu Airport.

Maureen Ballard, a meterologist with the National Weather Service in Honolulu said temperatures could tie or set records again Tuesday night.

The record for March 11 in Honolulu is 60 degrees and Lihue Airport’s record is 58 degrees.

“It’s going to be close,” Ballard said.

Light, north winds blowing cold air, a lack of clouds to keep the heat in and a lack of moisture in the air are helping keep temperatures unseasonably cool over the western end of the state.

The Big Island and Maui are seeing some moisture move up from the south and are getting warmer lows in the 60s.

Hawaii island summits will likely see more snow overnight.

A winter storm watch is posted Tuesday night through Thursday afternoon for summits above 11,500 feet.

Forecasters say another 6 to 7 inches of snow could fall on the summits of Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea.

A high wind warning is also in effect until 6 p.m Thursday as west winds of 50 to 60 mph, with gusts over 80 mph are expected.

The forecast for Honolulu and south shores of Oahu calls for mostly sunny to partly cloudy skies Tuesday and Tuesday night with north winds of 10 to 15 mph.

High temperatures between 73 and 81 are expected, with lows dropping to between 56 and 63 degrees.

Some isolated showers may blow over south shores on Wednesday and Wednesday night.

Tradewinds should begin to return over the weekend and temperatures will gradually rise.

Forecasters expect more normal spring-like weather and temperatures by early next week.

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