UPDATE (Feb. 6 at 7 a.m. HST) – The High Wind Watch is now a High Wind Warning. Sustained wind speed on Maunakea and Mauna Loa above 8,000 feet will range from 45 to 75 mph with localized gusts over 90 mph, forecasters say.
(BIVN) – The National Weather Service in Honolulu has issued a Winter Weather Advisory, as well as a High Wind Watch, for the summits of Maunakea and Mauna Loa.
The weather alerts will go into effect on Thursday, as deep moisture along a front will move over the Big Island, producing periods of snow showers and freezing rain. “The threat of significant winter weather may extend into Friday,” forecasters wrote.
Total snow accumulations of up to 5 inches could occur at elevations above 10,500 feet.
Also, west winds are expected to be 45 to 75 mph with localized gusts over 90 mph possible, starting Thursday morning. “Winds are expected to ease Saturday night and Sunday, followed by a significant increase again Monday,” the National Weather Service said.
As of Wednesday evening, the road to the summit of Maunakea was closed to the public at the Visitor Information Station “due to forecast of chance for fog, ice, icy road conditions and flurries,” rangers said.
Mauna Loa Summit is also temporarily closed due to winter weather hazards, says Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. Red Hill cabin remains open to backcountry hiking and camping, park officials say.