Cold front dumps heavy rain on Oahu, Molokai

Heavy rain brought storm debris into the Ala Wai Canal
Heavy rain brought storm debris into the Ala Wai Canal

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Heavy rain associated with a cold front started pounding Oahu Saturday evening into much of Sunday. One of the hints of the downpour was in the Ala Wai Canal, where debris from storm runoff floated on the surface of the brown water.

While a lot of the debris is caught before it heads into open water, the state Health Department issued a brown water advisory for Oahu, asking the public to stay out of storm runoff that enters coastal waters.

Oahu was under a flood advisory for much of Saturday night and Sunday. Some of the heaviest downpours were in Pearl City, where the Bravo restaurant at Pearlridge was flooded. Meantime, more than an inch of rain fell at Honolulu Airport, and cell phone video showed heavy rain in Chinatown Saturday night.

Conditions also were very wet for runners in the annual Hapalua Half-Marathon, which was run through Waikiki.

All the rain is part of a storm system that's typical for this time of year.

"Cold fronts have been pretty rare for the last couple of years," said Henry Lau, a lead forecaster with the National Weather Service. "However, we do have cold fronts that do visit the islands at this time in March."

Radar also showed heavy showers for Molokai, which was under a flood advisory for most of Sunday.

Forecasters said the cold front is expected to dissipate a bit as it moves very slowly eastward over the next 48 hours, perhaps far enough to reach places that need the rain.

"We're looking for the Big Island to have some rain," said Lau. "We're not looking for anything in a big event in that regard, but at least  some beneficial showers."

Lau expects continues to be drier by mid-week, but cautions that it won't be time to put the umbrellas away just yet. "Perhaps some persistent shower activity for the windward and mountain areas under a light trade wind flow, and we look for another front to drop down over the islands, perhaps Friday, Saturday time frame," he said.

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