Hilo sees nearly 20 inches of rain since beginning of March

The aftermath of last week’s heavy rainstorms will continue into next week as showers are expected for the next several days.

The torrential rains of last week — which overwhelmed a dam on Maui and caused flooding on Oahu — will gradually fade into more typical weather in the next week, said National Weather Service meteorologist Matt Foster on Thursday.

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As of Thursday morning, Hilo had seen 18 inches of rain since the beginning of March, the majority of which fell over a three-day period between March 7 and 9.

According to NWS records, an average March in Hilo would have seen only 7 inches of rain by the 17th. However, this year’s weather isn’t necessarily atypical: last year saw a nearly identical rainfall total over the same period.

Foster said the heavy rainfall and continuing showers are the result of a front that collapsed over the state.

“The front didn’t quite make it past the islands when it dissipated and it left this large area of moisture lingering there,” Foster said.

The showers that are expected over the next several days are the aftermath of that front, Foster said. As the trade winds resume, that moisture will pass over the state in the form of rain, although he added that the winds will keep the moisture moving and, therefore, not as torrential as earlier in the month.

In Hilo, the chance of showers will hover around 90% through Sunday, until it gradually drops over the next week. This will happen just in time for another front to pass over the state from the northwest next week, although Foster noted it will likely pass north of the Big Island, sparing it the heaviest of the rain.

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A high surf advisory is also in effect for east-facing shores until Saturday evening.

Email Michael Brestovansky at mbrestovansky@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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