(BIVN) – The Winter Storm Watch for the summit areas of Hawaiʻi Island has been replaced with a Winter Storm Warning, and a High Surf Advisory has also been issued for east-facing shores.
Snow is expected on Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa above 12,000 feet. The Winter Storm Warning began at 9 p.m. Thursday evening and will be in effect until 6 p.m. Friday.
“Total accumulation in excess of 6 inches,” could occur, the National Weather Service said. “Blowing snow will significantly reduce visibility at times, with periods of zero visibility. Travel to and from the summits could be very difficult to impossible.”
A Wind Advisory is also in effect for the summits. West winds are forecast to increase to 45 mph to 55 mph, with gusts up to 65 mph.
In addition, a High Surf Advisory goes into effect on Friday morning. Large, breaking waves of 6 to 9 feet are expected along east-facing shores.
“The swell will start out northerly, then shift around to the north-northeast Friday night and increase further,” the National Weather Service wrote, “warranting additional zones to be included in the advisory and possibly upgrading east facing shores to a High Surf Warning.”
Due to the High Surf Advisory, Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense issued the following:
Expect strong breaking waves, shore break, and rip currents making swimming difficult and dangerous.
Beach-goers, swimmers, and surfers should heed all advice given by ocean safety officials and exercise caution.
Roadway and beach park closures may occur at any time.