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Rough weather spurs Warning, Watch and Advisory status for Hawaii Island

Weather advisory map via National Weather Service/NOAA

Weather advisory map via National Weather Service/NOAA

The National Weather Service in Honolulu has issued several warnings, watches and advisories for Hawaii Island.

A time-lapse movie of the Gemini Observatory February 27-March 1, 2017 as seen from the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope. Images courtesy of CFHT

A time-lapse movie from the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope February 27-March 1, 2017. Images courtesy of University of Arizona/UKIRT

Blizzard Warning

A developing low pressure system near Kauai will lift north and drag a deep layered convergence band across Hawaii Island tonight (March 1). While snow accumulations will be light to moderate, strong winds at the high elevations will blow snow around creating drifts, snow on the roads and poor visibility down to one-quarter mile at times. It is likely that the strong winds will continue on Thursday after the snow threat has passed.

Up to three inches of new snow is forecast for Hawaii Island summits above 11,000 feet in elevation. Strong winds, blowing snow and low visibility is expected on the summits.

The winds will be from the southwest at 40-50 mph with gusts up to 65 mph.

The strong winds can make driving difficult especially for high-profile vehicles. Motorists should use caution while driving. The winds can also forcefully swing doors open or shut so use caution when opening or closing vehicle doors.

A Blizzard Warning means severe winter weather conditions are expected or occurring. Falling and blowing snow with strong winds and poor visibilities are likely. This will lead to whiteout conditions making travel extremely dangerous. Do not travel on the summits. If you must travel have a winter survival kit with you. If you get stranded stay with your vehicle.

A color enhanced infrared GOES-West satellite time-lapse movie of the Central Pacific February 27-March 1, 2017.

Flash Flood Watch

A flash flood watch continues for Hawaii Island through late tonight (March 1).

A low pressure system near Kauai will lift away to the north tonight and drag a deep layered convergence band across Oahu through Hawaii Island tonight. This will result in heavy rain and thunderstorms with the potential to produce flash flooding. Maui County will have the highest chance with Oahu and Hawaii Island more of a periphery flash flood threat. Saturated grounds from previous rains will mean less accumulation than usual will be necessary for flash flooding.

Some streams and normally dry gulches are expected to run high and could quickly overflow their banks. Intense rainfall in poor drainage and urban areas could also lead to flash flooding.

Campers and hikers should avoid low-lying flood prone areas. People should stay away from streams, drainage ditches and low-lying areas prone to flooding. The rainfall and runoff will cause hazardous driving conditions due to ponding, reduced visibility and poor braking action. Excessive runoff may cause rockslides and mudslides in steep terrain.

Debris in streams and gulches may clog bridges and culverts resulting in flooding outside normal water channels causing damage.

Do not cross fast flowing or rising water in your vehicle or on foot. Turn around, don’t drown.

Small Craft Advisory

A small craft advisory is in effect until 2 a.m. Thursday (March 2) for the Alenuihaha Channel, Hawaii Island windward, leeward and southeast waters.

South winds of 20-25 knots and seas 6-9 feet are expected.

For links to the latest weather forecasts, reports, radar and satellite imagery visit our Weather Page at

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