Lightning puts on a show in E. Hawaii

A “particularly vigorous” thunderstorm moving off shore brought a spectacular lightning show to East Hawaii skies Monday night.

Derek Wroe, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Honolulu, said the storm was not typical of Hawaii.

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“That was a vigorous cell,” he said. “We don’t see that kind of thing all too often.”

Wroe said that the cell, which was part of a low-pressure system that has brought snow to Maunakea, had long since dissipated.

By Tuesday afternoon, the low-pressure system was north of the Big Island, he said, but had “lost a lot of its vigor” and was expected to weaken and drop down over the islands overnight.

“That low-pressure system has been in control of our weather for the past couple of days,” Wroe said when asked about the weather outlook for the remainder of the week.

Hawaii could still see some effects of that system with spotty, heavy showers and possibly thunderstorms today — “things you see over the upper slopes of the Big Island,” he said.

A return to a wet trade-wind pattern is expected Thursday, and “much better looking conditions” are anticipated this weekend.

Friday will “dry back out” and bring a return to typical trade-wind patterns, Wroe said.

A winter weather advisory was in place for Big Island summits above 8,500 feet through Tuesday afternoon.

Periods of snow and freezing rain were expected.

A high surf advisory is in effect until 6 a.m. today for west-facing shores of the Big Island.

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A small craft advisory also is in effect until 6 a.m. for leeward and windward waters of the Big Island.

Email Stephanie Salmons at ssalmons@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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