Strong winds, high waves, more showers in the forecast

We’re heading into a period of rather active weather for a few days as Hawaiian-style winter conditions settle over the islands, with a cold front bringing an increase in showers and a period of strong and gusty winds, and a large northwest swell peaking Tuesday night.

We’ll start with the frontal band moving through the islands, starting with Kauai and Niihau this afternoon, Oahu around sunset, and then Maui County later this evening. The front will then stall and weaken over the Big Island Wednesday into Thursday. Showers will increase, but flooding rain isn’t expected. It will be drier by Wednesday afternoon for most areas, except for portions of the Big Island and perhaps east Maui.

The front will be accompanied by strong north to northeast winds. A wind advisory is posted for Kauai and Niihau through 8 a.m. Wednesday. Wind advisories have also been issued from 5 a.m to 10 p.m. Wednesday for Lanai, Kahoolawe, Central Maui, and the Kohala and Volcano areas of the Big Island. North to northeast winds of 20 to 35 miles per hour with localized gusts to 50 miles per hour will be possible. Winds should ease up by Thursday.

Finally, a high surf warning remains up for the north and west shores of Niihau, Kauai, Oahu and Molokai and the north shores of Maui. There’s also a high surf advisory for the north-facing shores of the Big Island for a swell that’s expected to peak Tuesday night into Wednesday. For mariners, a small craft advisory is in effect for all Hawaiian coastal waters.

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