UPDATE 5: High wind and winter weather advisories canceled for Big Island
Updated at 5:04 p.m. on March 2: The Hawai‘i Police Department reports that Kamehameha Avenue and Pauahi Street in Hilo are now open.
Updated at 4:30 p.m. on March 2: Both lanes of Māmalahoa Highway (Route 19) near the 56 mile post in Waimea Town are now open. Highway and utility crews continue to work on the shoulders of the road. Please watch out for them and drive safely.
All other county roads are currently open, although Kamehameha Avenue in Hilo is two lanes near Pauahi Street due to ponding.
Updated at 3:45 p.m. on March 2: The high wind advisory for the Big Island has been canceled.
Winds continue to slowly weaken and have largely fallen below advisory levels, therefore the advisory has been canceled. However, gusty winds remain possible through this evening.
Updated at 1:20 p.m. on March 2: The winter storm warning is cancelled for Big Island summits. The period of heavy snowfall reported across the summits earlier today has
ended, while wind speeds also continue to slowly weaken. However, deep layered moisture in the area will continue the potential for additional snowfall across the summits through
Updated at 11:50 p.m. on March 2: Maunakea Access Road is now open to the visitor’s center.
And, one lane of Māmalahoa Highway (Highway 19) near the 56 mile post in Waimea now is open. Highway crews are working to clear the roadway and direct traffic. A detour is available through Mana Road.
Both lanes on Highway 11 in Kainaliu, between St. Paul Road and Basque Way, are now open.
Updated at 9:30 a.m. on March 2: The following roads are closed or partially closed.
- Māmalahoa Highway (Highway 19) near the 56-mile post in Waimea is closed in both directions due to downed trees and utility poles. Highway crews are on-scene and working to reopen one lane within the next two hours. A detour is available through Mana Road.
- The Maunakea Access Road / Summit Access is closed due to ice on the roadway. There is currently no detour.
- Highway 11 near Kainaliu mile 113, one lane is open.
- Kamehameha Avenue in Hilo, Hilo bound lane is open.
Original post: The National Weather Service has downgraded wind warning to a high wind advisory for northern portions of the Big Island until 6 p.m. on Thursday.
There also is a winter storm warning in effect for the summits of the Big Island through 6 p.m. on Thursday.
First the wind: Robust high pressure far north of the state will continue to produce strong and gusty trade winds. Isolated pockets of warning level wind gusts are expected in the Kohala Districts of the Big Island, leeward of the Kohala mountains. The wind advisory will likely be extended for portions of the state on Thursday.
East winds of 20 to 30 mph with localized gusts of more than 50 mph are forecast.
Winds this strong can knock down tree branches, blow away tents and unsecured objects, and make it difficult to drive, particularly for high profile vehicles.
Next the snow: Heavy snow and periods of freezing drizzle will affect the summits above 10,000 feet. In heavy precipitation, snow may fall at elevations as low as the visitor center at times.
Additional snow accumulations of 6 inches or more are expected. Winds gusting as high as 35 mph.
Roads will be snow covered and slippery through the day due to heavy snow as well as blowing and drifting snow. Visibilities near zero can be expected at times in heavy snow.
Travel to the summits should be postponed if possible until conditions improve.
There also is a flood advisory for parts of the Big Island until 9 a.m. on Thursday.