(BIVN) – The National Weather Service in Honolulu has issued a Wind Advisory and a Red Flag Warning for parts of Hawaiʻi island, from now until 6 p.m. Saturday.
Forecasters say strong high pressure north of the state will produce strong and gusty trade winds through Saturday afternoon. East winds at 20 to 30 mph, with localized gusts over 45 mph, are expected.
“Winds this strong can tear off shingles, knock down tree branches, blow away tents and awnings and make it difficult to steer, especially for drivers of high profile vehicles,” NWS officials said.
At the same time, the high winds – in combination with dry fuels and low relative humidity – has triggered a Red Flag Warning because the conditions may produce extreme fire behavior, especially during the afternoon hours.
The leeward portions of the Big Island is most at risk. Any fires that develop will likely spread rapidly, and outdoor burning is not recommended, officials say.
In a Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense message, officials said downslope winds through Kohala, Kona, and Kaʻū could become accelerated, and asked residents to take the following precautions:
- Secure outdoor items such as canopies, trash cans, and chairs.
- Be aware of downed trees.
- Know that road closures may occur without notice.
- Stay clear of downed utility poles and lines and report any downed utility poles or lines to authorities.
- Motorist, especially those in high profile vehicles, drive with caution.