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Ongoing eruptions continue to create their own weather over lower Puna

Published: Jul. 9, 2018 at 9:09 AM HST|Updated: Jul. 9, 2018 at 2:20 PM HST
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PUNA, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - The lava is creating heavy rains.

In lower Puna, vigorous eruptions continue to create their own weather, whipping up a system that dropped up to 9.22 inches of rain in Pahoa over the 24-hour period that ended Monday morning.

The rains prompted a flood advisory for Leilani Estates, which has now expired.

But forecasters said the heavy rains could continue.

Over the past few weeks a series of intense thunderstorms have been firing up due to pyrocumulonimbus clouds, officials say.

The excess heat from the eruptions enhanced thunderstorms developing over Leilani Estates and down toward Kapoho.

"That excess instability gets turned into updrafts — strong, billowing, vertically-developed clouds that can create lightning, thunder, locally heavy rain," said Robert Ballard, a science and operations officer at National Weather Service-Honolulu.

This story will be updated.

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