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High wind warning in effect for Big Island summits

March 13, 2014 - 1:36pm

A high wind warning is in effect for the Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea summits through 6 p.m. Thursday.

National Weather Service forecasters based in Honolulu are calling for northeast winds around 40 mph to 65 mph with localized gusts topping 75 mph for areas above 8,000 feet in elevation. The winds are expected to gradually decrease throughout the day.

The Mauna Kea access road was open as of 1:35 p.m. Thursday at the Visitor Information Station, according to the Mauna Kea Weather Center. The temperature at the summit was 45.8 degrees.

A high wind warning means that winds at the summit are expected to be at least 56 mph with gusts topping 66 mph, according to the service.

The service cautioned that winds this strong can bring down tree branches and make driving difficult, especially for high-profile vehicles. Travel to the summit areas should be delayed until the winds subside.

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