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High Wind Warning for Big Island areas until 6 a.m. Saturday (Jan 3)

UPDATED (12:29 a.m. on 1/3/2015)

The National Weather Service in Honolulu has upgraded the advisory to a High Wind Warning for the Big Island for Kona, Ka‘u, North and East Kohala and the Saddle area. The warning is in effect until 6 a.m. Saturday.

Winds are coming from the south to southwest at 25-40 mph with localized gusts over 60 mph. Scattered power outages and downed trees have already been reported across parts of the Big Island this evening.

The winds are forecast to peak from midnight through the predawn hours. The strong winds may continue into early Saturday morning and the High Wind Warning may need to be extended.

A High Wind Warning means that winds are expected to be at least 40 mph with gusts over 60 mph.

Road Closures due to roadway blockage

Hawaii County Police report that several Puna roadways are closed due to the high winds including Highway 130 near the 12 mile marker, Highway 132 near Lava Tree State Park and Highway 130 near Milo where there is only one lane open.

Kahakai Boulevard is blocked above Olau Street, motorists should detour through Auina Street. Kaohe Homestead Road above Pahoa High School is closed.

At 12:26 a.m. Hawaii County Police reported Old Mamalahoa Highway between the area of Kahana Drive to Waokele Street in the Ahualoa area is closed due to fallen tree branches on roadway. Motorists should avoid the roadway and use Highway 19.

The strong winds can send trees, branches and other objects into roadways, power lines and/or equipment. Winds this strong can damage roofs and cause flying debris if outdoor items are not properly tied down. These winds can make driving difficult especially for high profile vehicles. The winds can also forcefully swing doors open or shut so use caution when opening or closing vehicle doors.

Hawaii Electric Light Company (HELCO) reminds people that if you see a downed power line you should stay as far away as possible and report any damage or outages to their dispatch center at (808) 969-6666.

National Weather Service Map

National Weather Service Map

UPDATED (11:27 PM on 1/2/2015)

The National Weather Service reports that a line of heavy showers and thunderstorms was passing over Oahu and moving east at 50 mph. The storm is expected to pass over Maui then hit the Big Island between 12:30 a.m.-2:30 a.m. very early Saturday. These heavy showers are expected to impact Kailua-Kona, Waimea, Hawi and Waipio Valley areas. Wind gusts up to 55 mph are possible with these showers and storms.

UPDATED (11:14 PM on 1/2/2015)


Special weather advisory by Hawaii County Civil Defense

The National Weather service has issued a high wind advisory for the Island of Hawaii effective through 6 a.m. tomorrow Saturday January 3rd. Winds of 25-35 mph with gusts of over 50 mph are expected. The high winds are part of an advancing system that is forecast to bring heavy rains and thunder showers in addition to the high winds.

The onset of hazardous conditions for Hawaii Island is expected to begin late tonight and increase into the early morning hours tomorrow. The high winds are also expected to be magnified as it passes through the Saddle Road area and may present with hazardous driving conditions. Motorists are advised to be prepared for high winds, heavy rains, and ponding on roadways as well as possible unexpected road closures.

The National Weather Service in Honolulu has issued a Wind Advisory effective immediately until 6 a.m. Saturday for south Kona, north and east Kohala.

The winds are from the southwest at 25-35 mph with localized gusts up to 50 mph. The strongest gusts are expected over the typical windward sides of the islands. Winds will shift to northwest and gradually diminish later tonight as a front pushes through. A Blizzard Warning has already been issued for the summits.

The strong winds can send trees, branches and other objects into roadways, power lines and/or equipment. Winds this strong can damage roofs and cause flying debris if outdoor items are not properly tied down. These winds can make driving difficult especially for high profile vehicles. The winds can also forcefully swing doors open or shut so use caution when opening or closing vehicle doors.

Hawaii Electric Light Company (HELCO) reminds people that if you see a downed power line you should stay as far away as possible and report any damage or outages to their dispatch center at (808) 969-6666.

A Gale Warning is in effect until noon Saturday (Jan 3) for The Alenuihaha Channel, Big Island windward, leeward and southeast waters. The warning is also for Oahu leeward waters, the Kaiwi Channel, Maui County windward and leeward waters, Maalaea Bay and the Pailolo Channel.

The Gale Warning is in effect until 6 a.m. Saturday for Kauai northwest, windward and leeward waters along with the Kauai Channel and Oahu windward waters.

Waimanu and Kalalau trails and camping are closed due to the impending storm

HONOLULU — The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW), in cooperation with Hawaii County Civil Defense, is canceling all camping permits for Waimanu and closing the Waimanu trail in north Kohala today. This closure continues at least through the weekend. A forecasted storm could bring high winds, rising waters and flash flooding to the Big Island. With long sustained rains, stream levels are likely to rise, which is a safety hazard for hikers crossing streams. Do not attempt to cross a flooded stream. Remain on higher ground and wait for the water to subside.

“We are cancelling all camping permits and the remote Waimanu trail until after the storm has passed and the trail can be inspected and made safe again,” explained Hans Sin, DOFAW wildlife biologist and manager for Hawaii Island.

In addition, the DLNR Division of State Parks has closed the Kalalau Trail in Kauai’s Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park until further notice. State Parks staff will re-evaluate trail conditions Saturday morning before deciding when to reopen this popular trail.

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