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Up to 6 inches of snow forecast for Big Island summits amid winter storm warning

March 3, 2014 - 7:54am

A winter storm warning is in effect for the Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea summits, according to the National Weather Service in Honolulu. Up to 6 inches of snow is forecast to fall before the warning ends at 6 p.m. Monday.

Forecasters said up to 5 inches of snow was expected to fall this morning with another 1 inch of snow forecast to fall this afternoon above the 11,0oo-foot elevation, according to the service.

The service forecast west winds of 60 mph to 80 mph with gusts topping 100 mph. Temperatures are expected to be in the 20s.

The Mauna Kea Access Road remained was closed as of 7:52 a.m. Monday because of strong winds and deep snow. The current temperature at the summit is 25.1 degrees. The highest wind speed recorded during the past 24 hours was 143 mph.

A winter storm warning means significant snow, sleet or ice accumulations are expected that may impact travel. The service cautioned that visibility is near zero at times.