HAWAII ISLAND – A High Wind Warning is in effect for Hawaii Island summits above 8,000 feet, while a Wind Advisory is in place for the remainder of the Big Island.
“Gusty southwesterly winds will continue ahead of and along a cold front moving down the island chain through tonight,” the National Weather Service reported on Monday. “The front will move through Oahu and Molokai today then down to Maui and the Big Island tonight, bringing showers and possibly a thunderstorm or two as it moves through.”
The front is weakening as it advances to Hawaii Island, and winds are expected to be below advisory strength over lower elevations as it arrives, forecasters say.
For now, the wind advisory alerts island residents to the possibility of southwest winds blowing at 20 to 30 mph, with localized gusts up to 50 mph. “The strongest gusts are expected over and downslope from higher terrain,” the National Weather Service stated. “This includes areas in and around Kailua-Kona, over and to the northeast of the Kohala Mountains, and the Ka’u district east of the Mauna Loa slopes.”
“Winds this strong can result in power interruptions, down large tree branches, damage weaker roofs, and make driving difficult,” forecasters say. “Unsecured loose objects like tents could be blown around by the wind.”
Things were relatively still in Hilo at noon on Monday .
“Conditions will be more active across the high summits of the Big Island,” the weather service says. “A High Wind Warning is in place through Tuesday night, but with the upper level trough likely slow to clear the area, the warning may need to be extended through Wednesday.”
Gusts up to 75 mph are possible.
The Mauna Kea Access Road is currently closed, as is the summit of Mauna Loa under the National Park Service.
Winter weather is possible for the summits, as well, tonight and early Tuesday as the front reaches the Big Island.
“Given the depth of the moisture along the front,” forecasters wrote today, “clouds may not be deep enough to generate snow, and odds are greater for some freezing rain at the highest elevations.”
A High Surf Advisory will also be in effect for west facing shores of Hawaii Island starting tonight through Wednesday. 4 to 7 ft. surf will build to 8 to 11 ft. Monday night.