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Flash flood warning extended for Maui

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    A radar image this morning showed areas of heavy moisture of Maui.


    A screenshot this morning from a W.M. Keck Observatory webcam facing north-northeast shows snow blanketing the ground.

Weather officials extended a flash flood warning for Maui as rainfall up to 2 inches per hour continue to soak some areas of the island.

Radar at 7:54 a.m. showed heavy rain over the windward slopes of Haleakala, affecting the area from Huelo to Hana and Kipahulu., weather officials said. And more slow-moving heavy showers are developing over windward West Maui, between Kahakuloa and Waiehu.

Maui Civil Defense said that Hana Highway is closed in both directions near Twin Falls due to a landslide.

Locations in the warning include, but are not limited to, Haliimaile, Paia, Makawao, Pauwela, Huelo, Wailuku, Waihee, Kula, Keanae, Nahiku, Makawao and Pukalani.

The flash flood warning is in effect through 11 a.m., but may need to be extended if heavy rain persists.

A flash flood warning means that flooding is imminent or occurring in streams, roads and low-lying areas. People in affected areas are urged to move to higher ground now.

Meanwhile, a flash flood watch remains in effect for Kahoo­lawe, Lanai, Maui, Molokai and Hawaii island through late tonight.

An area of deep tropical moisture is expected to hang over the larger islands through tonight, bringing locally heavy showers and isolated thunderstorms, forecasters say.

The weather service warns that excessive rainfall from heavy showers and thunderstorms could lead to flash flooding of streams and low-lying areas.

Hikers and campers are advised to pay close attention to the latest forecasts, warnings and conditions and to stay away from creeks and streams. They are further advised to consider postponing their trips until better weather returns.

A winter storm warning is also in effect for Hawaii island summits above 12,000 feet, with heavy snowfall already occurring. Snow accumulations are forecast to reach 6 to 10 inches, with localized higher amounts.

The weather service said the heavy snow will result in reduced visibility, making travel hazardous or impossible.

Meanwhile, a high surf advisory is in effect for north and east shores of Maui, Molokai, Oahu, Kauai and Hawaii island and the north shore of Niihau through 6 p.m. Thursday due to a northern swell today.

Surf heights of 15 to 20 feet are expected along north shores of Maui, Molokai, Oahu, Kauai and Niihau through this morning. Eastern shores are forecast to see surf of 4 to 8 feet over the same period.

Beachgoers are cautioned to expect strong breaking waves, shorebreak and strong currents that could make swimming dangerous.

According to the weather service, a cooler and drier air mass will arrive tonight and linger through Friday.

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