Clouds dump an inch in lowlands

So much for the drought.

Mt. Wai’ale’ale received more than 4 inches of rain during the 24-hour period ending at 2 p.m. yesterday, while parts of Hanalei, Wailua and Hanapepe had more than an inch of the wet stuff during the same period.

The rain and high winds combined to knock down a large tree across Kaumuali’i Highway near the Tree Tunnel earlier this week, blocking one lane of traffic, and across the island heavy rains resulted in slower-than-normal traffic movements.

The inclement weather may also be a contributing factor that led to the death of Edward Robinson, 75, of Kekaha, in a one-vehicle crash at the National Tropical Botanical Garden Wednesday at Lawa’i Kai.

The low-pressure system near the Big Island created unsettled weather as far away as Kaua’i, drenching the state with showers, said Bob Farrell, lead forecaster with the National Weather Service forecast office in Honolulu.

“It’s on a downtrend, but it’s pretty slow,” he said of the system, which yesterday afternoon was moving slowly away from the Big Island.

That means Kauaians are on the island that will be the first to see clearing conditions, as early as today, and definitely over the weekend, he said.

“The Big Island will remain wet, but Kaua’i should be drying out,” and definitely not experiencing the four-inch downpour that happened over Wai’ale’ale yesterday and Wednesday, he said.

More normal tradewind conditions are expected to return to Kaua’i, he predicted.

“Expect some drying Friday, and a nice weekend coming up,” Farrell said.

A National Weather Service forecaster at Lihu’e Airport, though, predicted wet conditions to continue until at least 4 p.m. today.

Bigger waves are expected, too, with a high-surf advisory for north-facing shores of Kaua’i and Ni’ihau, and waves building to 10 to 15 feet on north-facing shores, 8 to 12 feet along west-facing shores, and larger-than-normal waves, in the range of 5 to 8 feet, for east-facing shores, today, according to National Weather Service forecasters.

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