High wind warning extended for summits; wind advisory for rest of Big Island begins at midnight

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Live image of Mauna Loa’s summit and northeast rift zone from Mauna Kea at 6:26 a.m. on March 7, 2023. There is a high wind warning at the summit through Sunday. Webcam photo: USGS

The National Weather Service has extended its high wind warning for the Big Island summits until 6 p.m. on Sunday while adding a wind advisory for all Hawaiian Islands from 12 a.m. Wednesday through 12 a.m. Thursday.

A strong cold front will approach from the northwest today, then sweep from west to east through the islands tonight through Wednesday night.

Strong and gusty winds will begin after midnight tonight and continue through midnight Wednesday night across the lower elevations of all islands. Southwest to west winds of 25 to 35 mph with localized gusts of more than 50 mph are expected.


The strongest winds will occur over and downwind of the terrain and in areas where the wind is funneled most effectively through valleys and adjacent to the coastal water channels. Due to the recent above normal rainfall and winds coming from the opposite direction from the normal trade winds, there will likely be a higher risk of tree falls.

This image is from a temporary research camera positioned on the north rim of Mokuʻāweoweo, the summit caldera of Mauna Loa volcano by the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

Strong winds will also effect the higher elevations on the Big Island and Haleakala. The winds will be particularly strong and long lasting over the Big Island. The winds are not expected to be as strong or last as long over the Haleakala summit.

The forecast is for southwest winds of 55 to 65 mph at the summits with higher gusts today, increasing to 70 to 90 mph with higher gusts tonight.


At the top of Maunakea at 6:30 a.m. on Tuesday, it was 20 degree Fahrenheit although the wind chill made it feel like 3 below and the winds were averaging 53 mph.

Winds this strong can make driving and walking dangerous. The winds can forcefully open doors and damage hinges or slam doors shut, possibly causing injuries.

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