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Mostly sunny weekend in store for Hawaii; March was wetter than average

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Forecasters say cloud bands will drift over the Hawaiian island today, along with a small increase in showers for smaller island through Saturday.

The National Weather Service expects tradewinds to decrease today, then strengthen again Saturday and Sunday, but there are no advisories or weather threats on this Aloha Friday, and showers should diminish by Sunday morning.

Today’s forecast is mostly sunny, with highs from 81 to 86 degrees, and variable winds from 5 to 15 mph. Lows tonight will dip to 65 to 70.

The pattern is expected to continue over the weekend, with no change expected until early next week as another cold front approaches from the northwest, forecasters said.

Surf remains well below advisory levels on all sides — at 4 to 6 feet for north shores, and 2 to 4 feet for west shores, today and Saturday.

South and east shores remains at 1 to 3 feet and 2 to 4 feet, respectively, today through Saturday.

The projected amount of rainfall next week is expected to be modest, as clouds and showers move over Kauai and Oahu ahead of the front on Tuesday and Wednesday, forecasters said.

So far, April has not brought as much rain as March, when forecasters recorded 11 flash-flood events.

“Overall, it was the wettest March across the state since 2006 within what is remembered locally as the so-called ‘40 Days of Rain,’” said senior service hydrologist Kevin Kodama in a precipitation summary. “The March 2006 totals set a very high bar so monthly rainfall records were broken at only a couple of locations.”

Most of the heavy rainfall, including eight of the flash flood events, took place from March 7 to 13.

The intense rainfall above Kaupakalua Reservoir resulted in the over-topping of the dam, prompting the evacuation of residents below, and the closure of Hana Highway for several hours. Severe flooding also occurred from Haiku to Makawao, severely damaging or destroying several homes, and washing out Peahi Bridge.

On Oahu, a peak total of over 19 inches of rain was recorded during that time at Poamoho, and flooding damaged numerous roads and homes in windward Oahu, prompting an emergency evacuation for Haleiwa.

Monthly rainfall totals were 2 to 4 times greater than the March average on Kauai and Oahu — with 111.7 inches at Mount Waialeale. March rainfall totals across Maui County and Hawaii island were also above average.

Last fall forecasters announced this was a La Nina year, meaning there would be near to above average rain for Hawaii from December through April.

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