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Wet and windy Christmas in store for Hawaii

The weather forecast for Christmas Day includes rains, along with strong winds in the western Hawaiian isles, according to the National Weather Service.

Starting this afternoon, jackets and umbrellas may come in handy as a period of wet and unsettled weather blankets the islands through Thursday.

A flood advisory is in effect for Kauai until 8:45 p.m. tonight. Radar indicated moderate to locally heavy rain over Kauai that was falling at a rate of 1 to 2 inches per hour this afternoon.

Forecasters said due to a large, low-pressure system, each island will experience a 12- to 24-hour period of rains, which will travel eastward down the isle chain, reaching Maui and the Big Island on Thursday.

Strong, southerly winds, meanwhile, are expected to blow through Kauai and Oahu as this system passes through, with potentially damaging gusts forecast along north and northeast slopes of both isles.

A high wind advisory has been issued for Niihau and Kauai through 6 p.m. Wednesday, as well as for Oahu from this evening through 6 p.m. on Wednesday.

Southerly winds of 25 to 35 miles per hour, with gusts up to 55 mph are expected, mainly over and downwind of mountain ranges.

The advisory includes the cities of Lihue, Princeville, Poipu, Waimea, Hanapepe and Kokee State Park.

Winds this strong are capable of downing trees and causing power outages, officials warned.

Christmas Day will be mostly cloudy and windy for Kauai and Oahu, with showers and isolated thunderstorms. Scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms are also expected for Maui County.

Highs during the day will range from 79 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit, and lows at night from 67 to 72 degrees.

Despite the cooler weather, a record high of 88 degrees was set at Kahului on Monday, surpassing the previous record of 87 degrees set in 1981.

Coastal flooding remains a threat for all islands over the next few days due to unusually high water levels, with the greatest potential between midnight and daybreak.

More stable conditions should return, and make its way across the state on Thursday and Friday. Trades are also expected to return by week’s end.

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