UPDATE (3:20 p.m. HST) – This Special Weather Statement is no longer in effect. The National Weather Service says there are no watches, warnings, or advisories at this time.
HAWAII ISLAND – The National Weather Service in Honolulu says heavy showers and thunderstorms that are developing upslope from Hilo “will drift east over the lower windward slopes, coast, and near shore waters.”
Forecasters issued a special weather statement through 3:00 pm, warning that “frequent deadly cloud-to-surface lightning strikes, and low visibility in heavy rain will affect the area from near Saddle road to near Pepeekeo and Papaikou, and adjacent near shore waters out to 15 miles northeast of Pepeekeo.”
Thunder could already be heard rumbling above at 2 p.m. in Hilo, at the time the photo above was taken. Dark clouds are moving in.
The National Weather Service says small hail is also possible, with the stronger upslope thunderstorms.
“Find shelter if outdoors and you hear thunder,” forecasters wrote in the 1:38 p.m. message. “If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be struck by lightning.”