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High wind watch for Haleakala, Hawaii island summits

COURTESY USGS HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY
                                The Mauna Loa summit and Northeast Rift Zone from Mauna Kea are covered with snow. Hawaii island summits are under a high wind watch.
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COURTESY USGS HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY

The Mauna Loa summit and Northeast Rift Zone from Mauna Kea are covered with snow. Hawaii island summits are under a high wind watch.

The National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory for the Hawaii island summits, in effect until 6 a.m. Tuesday, and a high-wind watch for Haleakala and Big Island summits from Tuesday morning to Friday afternoon.

Forecasters say “a broad upper-level trough will move over the state and will bring a prolonged period of very strong winds for the summits of the Big Island and the summit of Haleakala this week.”

Southwest winds 45 to 75 mph with localized gusts over 100 mph possible.

The NWS warns that winds this strong could make driving and walking dangerous, forcefully open doors or slam doors shut, possibly causing injuries. Travel to the summits should be postponed until conditions improve.

Winds could stay very strong through the weekend.

In this week’s forecast, meanwhile, a series of cold fronts are expected to bring more rains and winds to the Hawaiian Islands over the next few days.

Today’s front moved through Oahu this morning, bringing a narrow band of moderate to locally heavy showers ahead of it, and is expected to impact Maui County this afternoon and evening.

A much stronger cold front is expected to approach the state Tuesday and move through the isles on Wednesday, bringing gusty, westerly winds and very large surf.

Forecasters expect to issue a wind advisory for many areas on Wednesday, with select areas potentially reaching gusts at warning levels.

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