UPDATE (5:45 p.m.) – The Wind Advisory has been extended through Monday evening, the National Weather Service reports.
(ORIGINAL POST) – High winds and high surf are currently impacting the Island of Hawaii.
The National Weather Service has issued a Wind Advisory for the Big Island, including the interior regions. The strong winds began mid-morning and are expected to continue to 8 p.m. this evening. Sustained northeast to east winds will be near 30 mph, with gusts near 50 mph.
The Hawaii Electric Light Company (HELCO) reports their work crews are responding to spot power outages in isolated areas. As in all severe weather conditions, expect possible interruptions in power, cable and telephone services, Hawaii County Civil Defense says. “Should power outages occur, be on the alert for malfunctioning traffic signals. Please treat flashing traffic lights as a four-way stop,” county officials say.
The gusty trade winds will be very strong for much of the week, due to strong high north of the state. According to the National Weather Service forecast discussion:
…the forecast guidance shows the strong high remaining far north of the state, in addition to a secondary high building far north of the islands by mid-week. As a result, we anticipate windy conditions will continue through at least Thursday. With the ridge setting up over the islands on Monday, the resulting inversion will set up slightly stronger winds over the state from Monday through Wednesday, and we anticipate expanding the wind advisory coverage over the next few days. Gusts over leeward areas will be the main concern.
The National Weather Service has also issued a High Surf Advisory for all shores of Hawaii Island.
Surf heights along east facing shores will be 6 to 10 feet, and 4 to 6 feet along south facing shores, increasing to 6 to 8 feet this afternoon.
According to the National Weather Service in Honolulu:
Strong trade winds near and upwind of the islands will produce rough and choppy surf along east facing shores for the next several days. Additionally, a strong low in the southern hemisphere generated a swell that will build today and peak Monday, resulting in high surf along south facing shores.
“Ocean front residents and beachgoers are advised to be on the alert for possible high and dangerous surf. You are asked to exercise caution due to the unpredictability of high surf,” civil defense stated in a morning message. “As a precaution, boat owners and oceanfront residents should take action to secure their property.”