Wind advisory posted for Big Island

KAILUA-KONA — Windy conditions are forecast for much of the Big Island through Wednesday afternoon.

A National Weather Service wind advisory will remain in effect until 6 p.m. that day, forecasters in Honolulu said. East winds of 20-35 mph with localized gusts reaching 50 mph are forecast. The strongest winds will occur in passes and downwind of the highest terrains.

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The advisory covers the windward side of the Big Island, from Laupahoehoe north around Upolu Point and over the Kohala Mountains, as well as South Point in Ka’u.

Interior areas are also included in the advisory with forecasters specifically noting the Saddle between Mauna Loa and Maunakea. Forecasters said the strongest winds will be over the western end of the Saddle.

The Maunakea access road is currently closed at the Visitor Information Station at 9,200 feet in elevation because of icy road conditions heading to the summit.

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Forecasters cautioned the strong winds can make steering difficult, knock down tree branches and cause power outages.

A high surf advisory is also posted for the east-facing shores of the Big Island’s northern and eastern coasts. Wave heights of 8-11 feet are forecast today and surf is expected to increase to 9-13 feet on Wednesday.