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Niala drops to a tropical depression, continues to weaken

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Tropical Depression Niala continued on a course away from the islands, heading west at about 9 mph as of 5 p.m. today.
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Niala weakened to a tropical depression early this morning as it moved west-southwest away from the state. However, it will still bring rain and high surf to the islands, the Central Pacific Hurricane Center in Honolulu said.

At 5 p.m. today, Niala was about 405 miles south of Honolulu, moving west-northwest at 9 mph with maximum sustained winds of 30 mph.

Niala is expected to return to a west-southwest track over the next couple days and will likely continue to lose strength, becoming a post-tropical remnant low tonight, forecasters say.

A flash flood watch for Hawaii island was canceled early this morning. Moisture along the northern periphery of Niala will move south today, forecasters say, and the threat of heavy rain will diminish this morning. 

A high surf advisory expired at 6 p.m. tonight. The advisory covered east-facing shores of Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Maui, and extended to the southeast shores for Hawaii island. 

The areas in the advisory saw surf of 5 to 8 feet.

The state Health Department issued a brown water advisory Honokahua and Honolua bays on Maui, and Waimea Bay, Bellows Beach and Magic Island on Oahu due to the heavy rains.

Beachgoers are advised to avoid flood waters and storm runoff due to possible overflowing cesspools, sewer manholes, pesticides, animal fecal matter, dead animals, pathogens, chemicals, and associated flood debris.

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