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High winds prompt advisories for some islands as large surf pounds east shores

High winds are bringing large surf across the Hawaiian Islands, prompting several advisories from the National Weather Service.

A high wind advisory remains in effect for Kauai and Oahu through 6 a.m. Thursday, due to northeast winds of 20 to 30 mph, with localized gusts over 50 mph. A high wind advisory also remains in effect for Maui County through 6 p.m. Thursday.

Officials warn that winds this strong are capable of downing trees and causing power outages. Observations around the state found peak gusts ranging from 40 to 55 mph. The strongest winds will affect ridges and points between the islands, as well as leeward areas downslope of the mountains. Motorists are urged to drive with extreme caution.

The winds prompted a high surf advisory for east shores for all isles through 6 p.m. Friday.

Large, breaking waves of 6 to 9 feet are expected, and officials warn of strong currents, making swimming dangerous.

A high gale warning for Maalaea Bay, Pailolo and Alenuihaha channels and leeward and southeast waters of Hawaii island, also remains in effect through 6 p.m. Thursday. Strong winds will cause hazardous seas, officials said, which could capsize or damage vessels in these areas.

Today’s forecast is mostly cloudy for the leeward and windward sides, with scattered showers, highs from 79 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit and east winds of 15 to 25 mph. Lows tonight range from 65 to 70 degrees.

Forecasters expect the gusty, easterly winds to continue through Thursday before gradually trending down over the weekend. Most showers will dampen the windward and mauka side, but some will fall over the leeward side due to the strong winds.

Looking ahead, the winds are expected to diminish into the light and variable range by Sunday. Surf along east shores will decrease over the weekend as trades weaken.

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