Inclement weather ahead this weekend

KAILUA-KONA — Forecasters say you may want to change your weekend plans because inclement weather is on the way.

“If you have outdoor plans for the weekend, be prepared for very windy conditions. If your plans include marine activities, you may want to consider postponing them,” the Honolulu-based National Weather Service said Thursday afternoon in a special weather statement covering the entire Aloha State.

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A potent low-pressure system will move toward the islands from the north over the weekend, bringing multiple weather hazards, forecasters cautioned. The low will send a powerful swell toward the Hawaiian Islands that will impact exposed north- and west-facing shores with very high surf.

That combination of strong onshore winds and high surf will increase the potential for significant coastal flooding that could lead to property damage, road closures and beach erosion, forecasters said. The surf could reach advisory or warning levels.

The low will also bring strong and potentially damaging north to northwest winds, beginning late Friday and continuing through the weekend, forecasters said. While the winds are expected to be strongest over ridges and mountaintops, wind speeds will also accelerate downslope, impacting heavily populated areas.

A high wind warning could be issued across large portions of the state depending on how close the low gets to the islands.

Because the air flow is expected to be very cool and dry, and with dew points plummeting into the upper 40s, any showers that do develop are anticipated to be light.

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Below-freezing temperatures (and potentially winter weather) are not only possible over the summits and upper slopes of the Big Island, but also over Mount Haleakala on Maui.

“Overall, this low is shaping up to be a high-impact event, bringing multiple weather hazards, and significant threats to life and property,” Justin Berk, a Honolulu-based meteorologist wrote in Thursday’s forecast discussion.