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Three rescued in separate ocean incidents after wet, windy and wintery day

  • MAUNA KEA WEATHER CENTER
                                The view from the Subaru Telescope this morning atop Mauna Kea.

    MAUNA KEA WEATHER CENTER

    The view from the Subaru Telescope this morning atop Mauna Kea.

Update 7:25 p.m.:

Haleakala National Park on Maui closed 1 p.m. today because of winter weather conditions and power outages, and it will remain closed until further notice, the National Park Service said in a news release today.

Sunrise reservations for Tuesday have been canceled as well.

“We strongly advise people against traveling on Haleakala Highway to the park as the gates to the park will be closed due to the winter weather conditions. Once conditions improve, and are safe for our staff and visitors, the Summit District of Haleakala National Park will reopen,” remarked Superintendent Natalie Gates.

Update 7:05 p.m.:

Two boogie boarders and a kitesurfer were rescued from the water today, Honolulu Emergency Services Department said.

At around 4 p.m., Honolulu Ocean Safety personnel rescued one person on a boogie board off Goat Island, near Malaekahana State Recreational Area. Another person on a boogie board was rescued, but by another surfer. Neither was injured, Emergency Services said.

Later, around 5 p.m., lifeguards rescued a man kitesurfing at Kaneohe Bay near the sandbar. He was reported missing after being separated from his kite. He was also uninjured.

Previous coverage:

Wet and windy weather is in store for the Hawaiian Islands today, along with high surf — as well as snow for Haleakala and Big Isle summits.

The National Weather Service has issued a slew of advisories that warn of possible floods today, along with strong winds and high surf as a low-pressure system continues advancing toward the isles.

>> A high wind warning is in effect through 6 a.m. Tuesday for Big Island summits. Northwest winds of 50 to 70 mph with higher gusts are expected.

>> A flood advisory has been issued for the Big Island through 9 p.m. today. Radar this afternoon indicated heavy showers with rates of 1 to 3 inches per hour moving onto leeward slopes of the Big Island. Fast moving showers will continue to move onshore during the next several hours.

Flood advisories issued earlier today for Oahu, Maui and Lanai have expired.

>> A high surf warning is also in effect for the north and west facing shores of isles from Niihau to Maui, and west shores of Hawaii island through 6 a.m. Tuesday.

Weather officials say the combination of a long-period, northwest swell and strong, northwest winds will bring large and dangerous surf to most north and west shores today and tonight. They warn that the combination “will likely result in significant beach erosion, overwash onto vulnerable low-lying coastal roadways, and surges within north and west facing harbors such as Haleiwa and Waianae.”

Surf is expected to reach 20 to 30 feet along north and west shores of Kauai County, and north shores of Oahu, Molokai and Maui. Surf will be 12 to 20 feet along west shores of Oahu and Molokai.

Surf on west shores of Hawaii island will build to 8 to 12 feet through tonight, then hold through Tuesday.

“Large, breaking surf, significant shorebreak, and dangerous currents make entering the water very hazardous,” said officials of high surf warning areas. “Anyone entering the water could face significant injury or death.”

>>A wind advisory for isles from Niihau and lower elevations of Maui and Hawaii island remains in effect until 6 p.m. this evening. Northwest winds of 25 to 35 mph, with localized gusts over 50 mph, are expected. The strongest winds will be near mountains, gaps and where winds blow downslope from higher terrain.

>> A winter weather advisory for Haleakala and Big Isle summits has been extended through 6 a.m. Tuesday. Weather officials say a brief period of snow and freezing rain is expected today, which may accumulate on roads and structures. Additional snow of up to 2 inches, along with ice of about one-tenth of an inch, and winds gusting as high as 120 mph mean slippery roads and limited visibility. In addition, a high wind warning is in effect until noon for Haleakala and through 6 a.m. Tuesday for Big Isle summits.

In a tweet this morning, the National Park Service said Haleakala Highway above Leleiwi Overlook is temporarily closed due to icy road conditions. The summit and summit visitor center are both closed, as well, until further notice.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources also tweeted that Kalalau Trail in the Napali Coast State Wilderness Park on Kauai is closed today due to flash flooding concerns.

Overnight, winds wreaked havoc, bringing down trees that blocked highways and causing sporadic power outages across the state.

The highest winds overnight were clocked at Mauna Kea summit, at 136 mph, followed by winds of 56 mph at Kuaokala on Oahu, and 53 mph at Barking Sands on Kauai.

Winds will linger longer at Big Isle summits, and the warning through tonight may need to be extended. Wahiawa Botanical Garden will be closed until this afternoon, Honolulu officials said, to clean up fallen branches caused by overnight winds and rain.

Cool air continues to filter in behind the cold front. In several locations, dewpoints are dropping into the mid-50s, and temperatures are dropping to around 60 degrees. Overnight temperatures dropped to 52 degrees Fahrenheit at Lihue Airport, 53 degrees at Wheeler Army Airfield on Oahu and 54 degrees at Kahului Airport.

Forecasters say bands of showers will continue moving through the islands, but that the area of low pressure will weaken near the isles Tuesday and Wednesday, easing winds.

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