Winter winds, rain close Haleakala road; weekend thunderstorms possible
January 20, 2018 | 74° | Check Traffic

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Winter winds, rain close Haleakala road; weekend thunderstorms possible

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Below freezing temperatures and wind chill created black ice on the road to the upper elevation of Haleakala National Park on Maui, leading to a temporary closure of the road this morning.

The road was reopened about 20 minutes later, but motorists are advised to use caution due to lingering patches of black ice.

Temperatures dipped to 29 degrees Fahrenheit with intermittent winds of 40 mph this morning. The mountain road was closed beyond the 8,000-foot elevation mark. Slippery roads are also expected until noon Saturday due to freezing rain occasionally turning into snow above the 9,000-foot elevation, according to the National Weather Service, which issued a winter weather advisory.

“We briefly closed due to the long stretch of black ice,” said Pauline Angelakis of the National Park Service. “Once the ice melted, we reopened the road … This is the first significant instance of black ice this month where we’ve actually had to close the road at upper elevations.”

While breezy north to northeast winds continued today, winds are expected to weaken into the weekend. An upper level low and increasing moisture will bring unsettled weather to portions of the state through this weekend, increasing the possibility of heavy downpours with a chance of thunderstorms.

Widespread rainfall is possible early next week as an upper-level trough pushes toward the islands from the northwest.

A high surf advisory for the east facing shores of isles from Kauai to the Big Island, meanwhile, with waves of six to eight feet, remained in effect until 6 a.m. today.

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