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Slow-moving storm to douse Hawaii with flooding rain


While a storm will douse outdoor plans and lead to flooding on some of the Hawaiian Islands, enough rain may fall to ease drought conditions.

People heading out and about in Hawaii will need waterproof shoes and rain ponchos to handle the widespread wet weather that will soon unfold. The rain could spoil some days at the beach.

Initially, showers and locally gusty thunderstorms are likely to sweep from northwest to southeast across the islands at the end of this week.

However, a storm from the north will strengthen and may stall over Hawaii in the coming days.

The storm will be more typical of that of the middle of winter, rather than April, according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Maggie Samuhel.

Static Hawaii Rainstorm 11am


"The storm will produce much more substantial and frequent rainfall when compared to the typical trade wind showers," Samuhel said.

Because of the slow-moving nature of the storm, it could deliver more rainfall to some areas, when compared to a weak, fast-moving tropical storm.

"Depending on the storm track and how long the storm stalls, there is the potential for the Big Island and Maui to receive several inches of rain, especially if the storm lingers into next week," Samuhel said.

On these islands, widespread flooding and road washouts are likely, including on the sides of the islands that typically experience a rain-shadow effect.

Substantial downpours will also extend across the islands of Lanai, Molokai and Oahu, where some incidents of flash and urban flooding can occur, as well as isolated mudslides.

Farther northwest, on Kauai, rainfall will overall be less intense and not as frequent as that of the middle and southeastern islands in the String of Pearls.

The islands have been experiencing abnormally dry to drought conditions since last year, according to the United States Drought Monitor. This is despite being in the proximity of multiple tropical systems in recent years.

The widespread rainfall will also help to alleviate the brush fire risk, at least in the short term.

"The rainfall from the slow-moving non-tropical storm will ease drought conditions in some areas and could completely eradicate it in others," Samuhel said.

The storm will also pull cool air down from aloft.

High temperatures may be held to the 70s F for a few days in Honolulu.

The air can get cold enough to allow snow to fall with accumulations on the summits on the Big Island this weekend and into next week.

In terms of wind and seas, conditions may not be as rough as that of a tropical storm affecting the area.

However, bathers and boaters should use caution as there may be shifting winds and sudden building surf and seas as the storm strengthens and stalls over the lower islands in the chain.