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Blustery winds, high surf continue to buffet most Hawaiian Islands

A high wind advisory has been issued for parts of Kauai, Oahu, Maui County and the Big Island, in effect until midnight tonight.

Northeast winds of 20 to 35 miles per hour, with localized gusts of more than 45 miles per hour, are expected across the islands, with the strongest over mountain ridges and through the valleys on the south, southwest sides.

Local gusts over 50 miles per hour are expected on Lanai, Kahoolawe and the Kohala district of the Big Island.

Weather officials said winds this strong can bring down tree branches, cause local power outages, and cause car doors to slam. On Oahu, winds Wednesday night blew the roof off of a Kahala home, injuring an 89-year-old man.

Weather officials have also issued a high surf advisory, in effect until 6 a.m. Friday, for:

>> East-facing shores of Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Maui and the Big Island.

>> North- and west-facing shores of Niihau and Kauai, with surf 14 to 18 feet high.

>> North-facing shores of Oahu, Molokai and Maui, with surf 12 to 16 feet high.

>> West-facing shores of the Big Island, with surf 5 to 8 feet high.

Strong, northeast winds will keep surf at advisory levels along the east-facing shores from Kauai eastward through at least tonight, with lower surf for smaller isles, but the advisory will likely need to be extended through Friday or early Saturday morning.

A west-northwest swell is also expected to peak at high surf advisory levels today along the north- and west-facing shores of Kauai and Niihau, north facing shores of Oahu, Molokai and Maui and west-facing shores of the Big Island. The advisory level surf is expected to hold tonight, then lower on Friday as the swell fades.

Impacts include strong, breaking waves and strong currents, making swimming dangerous. The public should exercise caution and heed all advice from Ocean Safety officials.

Forecasters said strong, gusty winds will persist through this evening, transporting bands of low clouds and showers through tonight. Wind speeds are expected to decrease this weekend.

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