By Jeff King
The National Weather Service in Honolulu predicted a frontal impact on the state this week. So far, however, the front’s effects are arriving sooner than predicted. The winds are blowing harder than forecast – and will likely stay that way through the night. But the waves are showing up as expected: BIG!
The NWS has EXTENDED a WIND ADVISORY for MAUI COUNTY, now in effect until 6:00 a.m. TUESDAY.
EFFECTS: Gusty southwest winds will continue into the night as a cold front moves across the island chain. Wind gusts over 50 mph are possible over and northeast of higher terrain on the smaller islands. Windy conditions are expected on the summit of Mount Haleakala.
Winds at Haleakala summit will be 35 mph to 50 mph from the southwest, with localized gusts over 60 mph.
The rest of Maui County can expect southwest winds of 15 to 30 mph with localized gusts over 50 mph over and to the northeast of higher terrain. Ahead of reaching Maui, O’ahu was razed by strong gusts today. Keola Elementary School in Windward O’ahu was a scary scene for a few moments this morning. About 50 first and second graders were in the school cafeteria just before noon when strong winds ripped off part of the roof directly overhead. No one was injured and lunch was served in classrooms. The school will remain closed tomorrow for emergency repairs.
PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES: WINDS THIS STRONG CAN BRING DOWN BRANCHES AND WEAK TREES, CAUSE DAMAGE TO WEAK ROOFS, CAUSE LOCALIZED POWER OUTAGES, AND MAKE DRIVING DIFFICULT, ESPECIALLY FOR HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES.
INFORMATION: Maui County Civil Defense will continue to monitor the situation. Please listen to your local radio and TV stations or NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts for any updates. NOAA Weather Broadcasts can be reached by calling 1-866-944-5025 FREE. NOAA Weather Internet services can be found at www.prh.noaa.gov/hnl.
Pre-recorded advisories and notifications are available 24-hours a day on the Maui County Automated Information System (AIS) by calling 986-1200.
Make sure stuff is tied down. Calm your pets. Drink a warm glass of milk before bed and be thankful there’s not eight feet of snow, 17 feet of flooding of temperatures of zero…or less (if there is such a thing). Those conditions, respectively, are being felt this evening by Boston, Redwood, CA and Fargo, ND.