Tropical Storm Wali downgraded

LIHUE — The National Weather Service downgraded Tropical Storm Wali to a tropical depression after overnight vertical wind shears took a toll on the first named storm of the Central Pacific hurricane season. 

By midday Friday, Tropical Depression Wali was 775 miles southeast of Hilo, or 1,080 miles southeast of Lihue, and moving to the southeast toward Hawaii at a rate of 13 miles per hour. 

The tropical system, which had maximum sustained winds near 35 miles per hour, is expected to become a post-tropical remnant low within 12 hours and dissipate within 24 hours. 

“Wali is expected to become a post-tropical remnant low within 12 hours and to dissipate within 24 hours,” a midday NWS forecast advisory read. “Although the remnant surface trough or wave will likely not contain any strong winds, it still poses a rainfall threat.” 

Heavy rainfall, according to the NWS, is expected to affect the Hawaiian Islands beginning Saturday evening. Widespread rainfall amounts of 5 to 10 inches are expected with up to 12 inches locally. 

The flash flood watch issued by NWS on Thursday is still in effect for the entire state from 6 p.m. Saturday to 6 p.m. Monday. 

Enhanced showers are expected to reach the windward side of the Big Island and Maui on Saturday night and spread to the rest of the state by Sunday.  

Department of Land and Natural Resources officials said they will be monitoring the weather and may close the Kalalau trail in Kee.

“Areas may be closed with little notice, for public safety, if weather conditions necessitate,” DLNR spokeswoman Deborah Ward wrote in an advisory. 

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