Strong trade winds have returned to Hawaii, prompting a high wind advisory until 6 p.m. Thursday.
The National Weather Service says a strong area of high pressure will pass by to the north of the islands over the next few days, resulting in windy trades which will strengthen today and tonight, peak on Thursday, then trend down Thursday night and Friday. Much of the state will likely see advisory-level winds on Thursday.
Northeast winds of 25 to 35 miles per hour are expected, with localized gusts up to 55 miles per hour for Lanai, the central valley of Maui, leeward Kohala and Kohala mountain areas on Hawaii island.
Strong winds can down tree branches and cause power outages. Motorists are advised to use extra caution.
Meanwhile, a high surf warning for the north and west shores of Niihau, Kauai, Oahu and Molokai, and the north-facing shores of Maui remains in effect until 6 a.m. Thursday. Surf is expected to rise to 15 to 20 feet along west-facing shores, and 20 to 25 feet today on north-facing shores.
A gale warning — meaning winds of 34 knots or greater are imminent — is in effect from noon today to 6 a.m. Friday. Operating a vessel in gale conditions requires experience and properly equipped vessels.