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Wintery, windy weather expected for Big Isle summits

  • COURTESY MAUNA KEA WEATHER CENTER

    This taken image at 5:45 p.m. today shows snow on the ground on Mauna Kea near the W.M. Keck Observatory.

Updated 5:40 p.m.

Strong winds and wintery weather were expected tonight for the Big Island’s summits, the National Weather Service said.

A wind advisory is in effect for summits above 12,000 feet until 6 a.m. Tuesday with southwest winds of 35 to 50 mph and gusts up to 60 mph.

Wind this strong can making walking difficult, slam open doors, and interfere with driving, the weather service said. A winter weather advisory was also in effect for summits above 10,000 feet until 6 a.m. Tuesday with snow and ice accumulating, causing reduced visibility and slippery road conditions.

A flash flood watch for Big Island has been canceled.

Surf will also begin rising tonight.

A high surf advisory for east-facing shores of Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Maui, and the Big Island will begin at 6 a.m. Tuesday and expire Wednesday morning, the weather service said.

Surf along the east-facing shores is expected to reach 7 to 10 feet.

Update 3:50 p.m.

The National Weather Service at 2:49 p.m. downgraded a flash flood watch for the Big Island to a flood advisory until 5:45 p.m. The rest of the state is no longer under a flood watch.

Radar at 2:45 p.m. showed heavy rain near Hilo falling at a rate of 2 inches per hour.

Locations of the advisory include but aren’t limited to Hilo, Hawaiian Acres, Paauilo, Orchidlands Estates, Glenwood, Pepeekeo, Keaau, Laupahoehoe, Ookala, Hawaiian Paradise Park, Honomu and Mountain View.

Previous coverage

A flash flood watch is in effect for all Hawaiian islands through this afternoon.

The National Weather Service said a strong upper-level trough near Kauai will combine with abundant low-level moisture associated with a surface trough to bring widespread heavy rain and thunderstorms.

Rapidly developing and slow-moving heavy showers and thunderstorms will continue to impact both windward and leeward areas. Many areas are already saturated from rain over the weekend, and any additional rainfall will lead to flash flooding.

A winter weather advisory is in effect for Hawaii island and Haleakala summits above 9,000 feet through 6 p.m. today. Periods of snow showers will lead to slippery road conditions and reduced visibility.

The road to the summit of Haleakala is closed at Kalahaku Overlook due to 1.5 inches of snow covered by a heavy layer of ice. Visitors will not be allowed to access the summit or the snow due to extremely hazardous road conditions.

Visitors will be allowed to view the crater from Kalahaku, but there are only 12 parking spots available.

The park road and all park facilities above 9,000 feet are closed until conditions are safer. Facilities below 9,000 feet are open, including the visitor center and lower-elevation trails.

A wind advisory through 6 p.m. covers the summits of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa above 12,000 feet. Strong winds of 35 to 50 mph with gusts up to 60 mph could make walking and driving difficult in the area.

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