Winter weather advisory issued for Big Island summits


The National Weather Service in Honolulu has issued a winter weather advisory for Big Island summits through 6 p.m. today.

Forecasters said a cold front moving through the area will produce periods of freezing rain and, possibly, snow showers above the 12-foot elevation of Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea, according to the service. Up to 1/4 inch of ice and 1 inch of snow were forecast to fall.

The service forecast west winds of 45 to 65 mph with localized gusts topping 80 mph. Temperatures are expected to be in the upper 20s to lower 30s.

The Mauna Kea Access Road was closed as of 9:35 a.m. Wednesday at the Visitor Information Station because of gusts topping 80 mph at the Mauna Kea summit.

A winter weather advisory means that periods of snow, sleet or freezing rain will cause travel difficulties, according to the service, which cautioned drivers to be prepared for slippery roads and limited visibility. During times of heavy snow, visibility may be reduced to zero, forecasters warned.