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More snow expected on Hawaii island summits

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  • A snowplow could be seen at work this morning on the top of Mauna Kea. (Courtesy: UH Hilo Physics and Astronomy Telescope)

  • Several inches of snow remained on the ground on Mauna Kea this morning as dark clouds begin to move over the mountain. (Courtesy Keck Telescope webcamera)

  • Mauna Loa can be seen in the distance this morning in this webcamera image from Mauna Kea. (Courtesy Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory's Submillimeter Array)

Despite relatively calmer skies Saturday, the National Weather Service reports the lingering unstable airmass that brought high winds and heavy rains to the state late last week could continue to vex portions of Hawaii island Sunday.

The weather pattern caused heavy showers that resulted in significant flooding on Oahu, Maui, Kauai and Hawaii island on Thursday and Friday.

The showers subsided on most islands today, but continued to pound the Keauhou, Honaunau and Kealakekua areas of the Big Island, prompting the weather service to issue a flood advisory effective through this evening.

The Mauna Kea Access Road, which was covered by nearly 2 inches of snow on Friday, remained closed today due to wet road conditions at below freezing temperatures.

The summit areas also were subject to a winter weather advisory, effective through 6 Sunday morning, with 1 to 2 inches of snow expected to fall overnight.

Forecasters say the high pressure system north of the state will maintain a tradewind weather pattern through the early part of the coming week, with clouds and passing showers favoring windward and mauka areas.

A “slightly drier” tradewind weather pattern is expected to return by mid-week as the atmosphere becomes more stable, the weather service reported.

Meanwhile, a high-surf advisory remains in effect through 6 a.m. Monday for east-facing shores of all islands. Forecasters predict waves of 7 to 10 feet. Oceangoers are cautioned to be aware of strong breaking waves, pounding shore break, and strong along-shore and rip currents.

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