Winter weather advisory issued for Big Isle summits


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

The service forecast up to 5 inches of snowfall for elevations above 10,500 feet on Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. It also warned of westerly winds of 45 mph to 70 mph with localized gusts topping 90 mph.

Currently, the temperature at the summit of Mauna Kea is 30 degrees. Winds are blowing from the west-southwest winds at 44 mph, according to the Mauna Kea Weather Center.

While the Mauna Kea Access Road remained open as of noon, the service warned that summit roads may become impassable. It also noted that visibility is limited to 1/2 mile when snowfall is heavy.

A winter weather advisory means that periods of snow, sleet or freezing rain will make travel difficult. Be prepared for slippery roads and limited visibility.