Wind waning, rain coming
POSTED: Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Hawaii headed into winter today with a dusting of snow on Mauna Kea.
Winds were responsible for toppling a tree in downtown Honolulu, sending a man to the hospital and also peeling back part of a rooftop.
Up to half an inch of snow fell on the Big Island mountain but the ground could still be seen in a lot of places, said Honolulu forecaster Bob Burke at the National Weather Service.
Winds were still blowing 20 to 25 mph this morning, he said, "but we've seen the strongest of the winds." They were expected to diminish gradually today and tonight and will be about 10 to 15 mph tomorrow, he said.
Winds will begin shifting to an east-southeast direction as a low pressure area develops northwest of the state tomorrow night and into the weekend, Burke said.
"All the islands have the potential to see locally heavy rain out of this," he said. "The main problem is pinpointing where and what island is impacted at any given time."
Quite a bit of sunshine is predicted tomorrow, but the skies will be cloudier Friday and Saturday.
It may be a degree or two cooler because of the cloud cover and possible rain but will feel more humid with winds turning southeast ahead of the low pressure trough, Burke said.
More vog also is expected over the islands from the southeast windflow, he said.
Either by Sunday or Monday, the tradewind weather pattern should return with normal windward mauka showers and a lot of sunshine in leeward areas, he said.
Blustery conditions made for more than just a bad hair day yesterday.
A roof blew off a three-story Makiki building.
A coconut tree toppled onto a passing car in front of Iolani Palace.
And stiff winds on Lanai — the highest in the state yesterday — whipped up a brush fire that burned an estimated 1,000 acres.
Small-craft advisories were still in effect today.
Most of the islands had an estimated average of 25 mph sustained winds with higher gusts in excess of 30 mph, said lead forecaster Sam Houston of the weather service.
Lanai topped the state with the highest wind speeds, peaking at 1:17 p.m. yesterday with 40 mph sustained winds with 50 mph gusts.
In Makiki, the wind peeled back a 4-by-12-foot section of roof of a building at 1232 Young St. at about 11 a.m. yesterday, Honolulu fire Capt. Terry Seelig said.
This exposed a seam, causing water to leak into the third-floor apartment below, he said. Firefighters assisted by removing the loose roof material. Meanwhile, roofers arrived to repair the roof, Seelig said.
The only person home was not injured.
Strong winds also brought down a coconut tree on King Street fronting Iolani Palace yesterday.
Police closed three lanes of traffic on King Street at about 1:17 p.m. until the car was towed away about an hour later.