Windy conditions will persist today with this wind event peaking today with the strongest winds of the week.
The relatively strong high-pressure center north of the state will continue to keep windy conditions in the forecast through Friday. Today expect moderate to strong east-northeast to northeast trade winds across the island chain.
Winds will be sustained at 25 mph to 35 mph with wind gusts up to 55mph. There is the possibility of even stronger winds on northern portions of Hawaii County with sustained winds expected to be 30 mph to 40 mph with possible gusts over 60 mph. Gradually weakening winds are expected Thursday into Friday. By Saturday, this wind event will be over with northeasterly trade winds of only 10 to 15 mph with maybe a few gusts near 25 mph.
The ground is still very saturated from the recent rain and the rain over the last couple of weeks, so downed trees and potentially downed powerlines are still possible. Landslides, rockfalls, as well as debris on roadways, continue to be a risk so allow yourself extra time if you need to travel somewhere and be vigilant until this wind event has concluded.
Stay alert, especially if you are in an area that typically gets higher winds such as the northern part of the Big Island, which could see 30 to 40 mph sustained winds as well as gusts upwards of 60 mph and above.
The winds will weaken slightly into tomorrow and weaken a little more on Friday. It will still be windy enough to warrant a wind advisory on both days, but at least the wind speeds are trending downward.
Thursday winds will be east-northeast 20 mph to 30 mph sustained with gusts up to 45 mph possible. Friday expect sustained northeast trade winds 15 mph to 25 mph with gusts up to 35 mph. Winds will be much weaker Saturday with sustained winds 10 mph to 15 mph and possible gusts of 25 mph.
There is one weather feature that may become problematic. A surface low has developed northeast of Hawaii County. The surface low is forecast to brush the Hamakua Coast then shift north-northeast away from Hawaii Saturday night. This will bring rain primarily to the Hamakua Coast and somewhat inland. But the upper-level low associated with this feature will push to the west over Hawaii County today through tomorrow before shifting east Friday into Saturday.
It’s this upper-level dynamic that may cause a good amount of rain for Hawaii County and Maui. Even though the southern half of the Big Island had a break from moderate to heavy rain over the last few days, the ground is still saturated.
The position of this low today will allow the flow to primarily be east to west up onto the Hamakua Coast today into tomorrow, somewhat limiting the potential for moderate to heavy rain over the southern slopes for tomorrow. But when the upper-level low moves over the Big Island, the unstable atmosphere may create moderate to heavy rain, with the possibility of thunderstorms, over the entire island. This may introduce another round of flooding for the southern half of Hawaii County. We will continue to track this low and keep you updated. If you live in that area, remain alert, especially if you are in an area that flooded over the last few weeks. This system, both the surface low and the upper-level low should push east clear of the island chain by Saturday night.
The National Weather Service has issued the warnings and advisories listed below associated with this wind event. Keep in mind that the numbers below are from NWS and the numbers above are from Chevy Chevalier’s forecast, so they may differ slightly.
-HIGH WIND WARNING until 6:00 a.m. Thursday for winds 30 mph to 40 mph with possible gusts over 60 mph.
-HIGH SURF WARNING until 6:00 p.m. Thursday for east-facing shores of Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Maui and the Big Island. Surf heights of 10 ft to 15 ft are expected.
-GALE WARNING until 6:00 p.m. Thursday with expected winds 25 kts to 35 kts and seas 10 ft to 15 ft.
-HIGH WIND ADVISORY until 6:00 a.m. Thursday for winds 25 mph to 35 mph with gusts possibly over 50 mph.
-SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY until 6:00 p.m. Friday for winds 20 kts to 30 kts and seas 10 ft to 15 ft.