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More snow could fall on Hawaii summits as winds weaken

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  • COURTESY CANADA-FRANCE-HAWAII TELESCOPE A small patch of snow was visible this afternoon from the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope webcamera on Mauna Kea.

Winds are weakening and snow could fall again on Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa as a high pressure system that brought gusty tradewinds to the state moves away.

The National Weather Service dropped high wind and surf warnings to advisories this afternoon.

“Winds have started to subside,” forecasters said. “The wind advisory remains for Lanai, Kahoolawe and portions of the Big Island through tonight.”

East-shore surf generated by the strong tradewinds is dropping from 8 to 12 feet through tonight to 6 to 10 feet Tuesday.

A high surf advisory remains in effect until 6 a.m. Wednesday and gale warnings and small craft advisories are also in effect for mariners in Hawaiian waters.

A weather system moving over the Big Island may also bring thunderstorms, freezing rain and snow to Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa overnight.

A winter weather advisory is posted for the Hawaii island summits above 12,000 feet.

“Cold overnight temperatures will likely allow periods of freezing rain to reach the summits, while briefly heavy snow showers in thunderstorms will be possible,” forecasters said.

The weather system could bring up to a quarter inch of ice and less than an inch of snow.

Light snow patches could be seen in webcamera images from Mauna Kea this afternoon.

The winds will continue to bring windward and mauka showers that could cross the mountains to leeward areas.

The forecast for Honolulu and south shores of Oahu calls for a 40 to 50 percent chance of rain and east winds of 15 to 20 mph, gusting to 40 mph through Tuesday.

More moderate tradewinds of 10 to 20 mph are expected Wednesday through Christmas Day. But the chance of showers remains at about 50 percent.

Tradewinds could pick up again over the weekend.

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