IN THIS STORY
- Heaviest rainfall threat is for Maui and Big Island today
- Snowfall, high winds shut down mountain summits
(BIVN) – Heavy showers and a slight chance of thunderstorms are possible today in association with a front that remains in the vicinity of the central islands, while “a potent upper level low pivots just to the south of the western end of the state”, the National Weather Service reports.
Hawaii Island is under a Flash Flood Watch, and the summits of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa are under a Winter Storm Warning and a High Wind Warning.
At 6:51 a.m. Sunday morning, forecasters said a “nearly stationary front remains just to the west of the Big Island. Infrared satellite imagery shows mostly cloudy to overcast conditions across the state. Radar imagery shows a steady stream of moderate to locally heavy rainfall moving northward through Oahu and Maui County, with numerous showers impacting the Big Island and scattered showers across Kauai. Main short term concern continues to revolve around the potential for heavy rainfall.”
The heaviest rainfall threat is expected to continue to focus over Maui County and the Big Island today, although some moderate to locally heavy rainfall is also expected across Oahu. The highest potential for flooding rains is also expected across Maui County and the Big Island today.
“Rain will not only affect windward areas,” forecasters warned, “but will also impact urban and leeward areas which are more susceptible to flooding problems.”
A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for island summits until this evening. Snow is currently is visible on Mauna Kea webcams. Heavy and blowing snow may accumulate in excess of 6 inches.
Under the High Wind Warning, south to southwest winds 55 to 65 mph with gusts to 75 mph are possible. The dangerously strong winds will make driving hazardous. Travel to summit areas should be delayed until winds subside, the National Weather Service says.
The road to the summit of Mauna Kea is closed to the public due to high winds in the 50 to 60 MPH range, rangers report. “We are under both a High Wind Warning until 6 a.m. Monday and a Winter Storm Warning until 6 o’clock Sunday evening for all Big Island Summits issued by the National Weather Service. Rangers will continue to monitor conditions and this message will be updated periodically.”
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has temporarily closed the summit of Mauna Loa beyond Red Hill Cabin due to the winter storm.