UPDATE: 4:20 p.m.
The NWS has extended the red flag warning for the leeward sides of all the main Hawaiian Islands through 6 p.m. Saturday.
Fuels remain dry in the affected areas, which combined with strong trade winds and low relative humidities, will result in critical fire weather conditions over leeward areas this afternoon and again on Saturday.
The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for the leeward areas of all Hawaiian Islands due to gusty winds and low humidity in effect from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today.
A red flag warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now or will shortly due to a combination of strong winds, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures.
Tradewinds of 20 to 30 mph, with stronger gusts, are expected today, along with humidity between 40% to 45% from late morning to late afternoon. Any fires that develop will likely spread rapidly and outdoor burning is not recommended, official say.
The advisory covers the leeward sides of Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Maui, and Hawaii island.
“Although windward areas did receive some overnight showers, fuels remain dry in leeward areas,” forecasters said in the advisory. “Strong trade winds and low relative humidities will result in critical fire weather conditions over leeward areas this afternoon.”
In addition, weather service has issued a wind advisory for portions of Maui and Hawaii counties, in effect until 8 p.m. today.
Tradewinds of up to 30 mph, with localized gusts near 50 mph, are expected in areas including the mauka side of Lanai, the central valleys of Maui, and south side of Hawaii island. Cities covered by the advisory include Lanai City, Lahaina, Kaanapali, Kawaihae, Waikoloa, Saddle Road above 5,000 feet, Shipwreck Beach, Kaumalapau Harbor, Manele, Kahului, Maalaea, Ocean View, South Point, and Pahala.
Weather officials said winds this strong can knock down tree branches, blow away tents and awnings, and make it difficult to steer, particularly for drivers of high-profile vehicles.
A small craft advisory is also in effect — covering all waters on the northwest, windward and leeward sides of Kauai to windward Hawaii island waters — until 6 p.m. Saturday. Inexperienced mariners, especially those operating smaller vessels, should avoid going out in these conditions, weather officials said.
Forecasters expect today’s strong tradewinds will ease slightly on Saturday, diminish more substantially Sunday, and then remain on the lighter side for most of next week.