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Winter weather and other advisories for Hawaii Island

Weather advisory map via National Weather Service/NOAA

Weather advisory map via National Weather Service/NOAA

Winter Weather Advisory

Snowfall on the summit of Mauna Kea March 11-13, 2018. Time-lapse images via the Gemini Telescope, UK Infrared Telescope, and Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope webcams.

The National Weather Service in Honolulu has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for Hawaii Island summits above 13,000 feet through Wednesday morning (March 14).

An upper trough west of the state will funnel deep layered clouds across Hawaii Island over the next couple of days. As temperatures remain around freezing at the summit level, a mix of rain and snow will lead to moderate accumulations on roads that will make travel to the top of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa hazardous through Wednesday morning. Strong southwest winds at the summits will blow snow around.

A mix of rain and snow at the summits of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. Additional snow accumulation of up to one inch is expected.

The road to the summit of Mauna Kea is closed to the public at the Visitor Information Station at an elevation of 9,200 feet, due to icy road conditions, snow, high humidity, below freezing temperatures and high winds.

For updated information on summit road conditions visit:

High Surf Advisory

A north swell and strong trade winds will maintain elevated, rough surf along north and east facing shores through this afternoon. Even though the north swell may diminish by this evening, the strong trade winds will likely keep advisory level surf along east facing shores through tonight.

Surf along north facing shores of Hawaii Island will be in the 10 to 15 feet range. Along east facing shores of Hawaii Island, 6 to 10 feet.

Coastal areas can expect strong breaking waves, shore breaks and strong longshore and rip currents making swimming difficult and dangerous.

Beachgoers, swimmers and surfers should heed the advice given by ocean safety officials and be careful. Know your limits and when in doubt, don’t go out.

Boaters should expect recreational surfers and bodyboarders using harbor channels to access surfing areas.

Small Craft Advisory

A Small Craft Advisory is in effect until 6 a.m. Wednesday (March 14) for Kauai Northwest Waters, Kauai Windward Waters, Kauai Leeward Waters, Kauai Channel, Oahu Windward Waters, Oahu Leeward Waters, Kaiwi Channel, Maui County Windward Waters, Maui County Leeward Waters, Pailolo Channel, Alenuihaha Channel, Hawaii Island Windward Waters, Hawaii Island Leeward Waters, Hawaii Island Southeast Waters.

Winds and Seas: East winds 20 to 30 knots with higher gusts. Seas up to 12 feet.

A Small Craft Advisory indicates inexperienced mariners, especially those operating smaller vessels, should avoid navigating in these hazardous conditions.

Wind Advisory

A Wind Advisory is in effect for Hawaii Island summits until 6 a.m. Wednesday (March 14).

Winds are forecast to come from the southwest at 30 to 50 mph with localized gusts over 60 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. Consider postponing driving or hiking to the summit until conditions improve. If camping near the summit, be sure tents are well secured.

Harbor Surges

A large, long-period north swell will produce moderate surges in harbors, and large breaking waves near harbor entrances exposed to the north, especially in Kahului and Hilo Harbors. The north swell is expected to diminish by this afternoon.

Boaters using these harbors should exercise caution when mooring or launching vessels, and when entering or leaving port due to the potential for surges and large waves breaking near harbor entrances.

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