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Flood advisory in place for Maui; surf warning added to flood watch as cold front passes Hawaii

UPDATE: 2 p.m.

A flood advisory is in effect for the island of Maui through 4:45 p.m. today.

The National Weather Service says at 1:31 p.m., radar indicated heavy rain over northern Maui. Rain was falling at a rate of 1 to 2 inches per hour.

Some locations that will experience flooding include Kahului, Kihei, Puunene, Paia, Haliimaile, Pukalani, Makawao, Wailuku, Waiehu, Maalaea, Pauwela, Waikapu, Haiku-Pauwela, Waihee, Kula, Keokea, Kahakuloa, Huelo, Honokohau and Kapalua.

The public should stay clear of streams, drainage ditches, and low-lying areas prone to flooding.

The advisory may need to be extended beyond 4:45 p.m. if flooding persists.

A flood watch, meanwhile, remains in effect for all isles through Monday afternoon.

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A high-surf warning is now among the flurry of advisories issued by the National Weather Service as a cold front makes its way down the Hawaiian Islands.

The high-surf warning covers the north facing shores of isles of Niihau, Kauai, Oahu, Molokai and Maui through 6 a.m. Monday. A high-surf advisory is in place for the west facing shores of those sames isles, also through 6 a.m. Monday.

Weather officials say a very large, north-northwest swell is expected to fill in today, then quickly build tonight, bringing surf to 20 to 30 feet by Saturday morning.

Ocean water may occasionally sweep across portions of beaches along these north shores, along with strong, breaking waves. Dangerous currents make entering the water very hazardous in these conditions, they warned, and anyone doing so could face significant injury and death.

Boaters should also watch out for surges at north facing harbors, particularly Kahului and Hilo.

Forecasters, meanwhile, say “unsettled weather” will persist in the state through the weekend and into early next week, resulting in consistent wet weather.

The cold front that hit Kauai Thursday is heading toward Maui today and expected to move down the island chain and stall near Hawaii island tonight and Saturday, bringing heavy showers and possible thunderstorms along the way.

A flood watch due to the heavy rainfall remains in effect for all isles through Monday afternoon.

A wind advisory for parts of Kauai and Niihau, including Waimea Canyon State Park, is in effect through 6 p.m. today due to north winds of 30 to 35 mph, with localized gusts over 55 mph.

Winds this strong can tear off shingles and knock down tree branches, plus make it difficult for drivers to steer, officials warned.

For Big Isle summits, there is a high wind and blizzard warning due to an approaching, upper-level disturbance starting this evening.

The blizzard warning goes into effect from 6 p.m. today to 6 a.m. Sunday at the summits due to the high winds and snow of up to 12 inches.

The blowing snow will reduce visibility, bringing periods of zero visibility, and likely cause the drifting of snow. Travel to the summits should be restricted to emergencies only.

A high-wind warning also goes into effect for Mauna Loa, Mauna Kea, and Haleakala summits from 6 p.m. today to 6 a.m. Monday.

Southwest winds of 50 to 80 mph, with localized gusts over 100 mph, are expected at Big Isle summits.

Hawaii County Civil Defense said Hawaii island residents in flood-prone areas should remain alert to flooding conditions, secure loose, outdoor items before nightfall, and remain indoors if there are lightning threats.

A gale warning for Kauai’s leeward waters also remains in effect through 6 p.m. while a small craft advisory covering most waters around the isles lasts until 6 p.m. Sunday.

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