Winter weather advisory issued for Hawaii island peaks

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(BIVN) – The Honolulu National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for Hawaiian island peaks above 12,500 feet.

“A moist, unstable air mass will bring periods of freezing rain and drizzle, as well as snow to the Big Island peaks today and tonight,” forecasters said. Total snow accumulations of 2 to 4 inches are possible, along with light ice, until the advisory ends Monday morning.

Excerpt from the National Weather Service’s 9 a.m. discussion:

Currently on the surface, a pair of highs is centered over the far north-northwest and far northeast, with a weakening front between these two features. The resulting gradient is producing gusty trade winds across the island chain this morning. Meanwhile, a mid- and upper-level trough trending southwest to northeast resides over the central islands. Visible satellite images show mostly cloudy skies over much of the state, with higher cloud cover in windward areas. Radar images show scattered showers in many areas moving into windward areas, with coverage highest over the eastern end of the state. The primary short-term focus revolves around the potential for heavy rain and thunderstorms locally.

Traveling to the peaks could be very difficult, officials warn.

The Maunakea access road was still open Sunday morning, according to a ranger message posted at 11:17 a.m. HST.

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