Holiday weather: Calm, breezy conditions expected

HILO — A calm, if breezy, Christmas is expected on the Big Island, according to forecasters at the National Weather Service in Honolulu.

Bob Burke, a meteorologist with the NWS, said heading into Christmas Day “things look pretty good for the Big Island.”


While southerly winds could make the day breezy, Burke said it’s expected to be fairly dry, with passing showers in the south and southeast areas.

Bigger rains from a passing weather system are anticipated on Kauai and Oahu, but the system will weaken by the time it makes it to Hawaii Island and trade winds will start to return, Burke said.

Thursday and Friday will see the transition back into a wetter trade pattern, he said.

A white Christmas isn’t expected on Big Island summits.

Burke said the weather system looks to be too warm for snow over the summit areas of Maunakea and Mauna Loa.

A high surf advisory for east-facing shores is in effect until 6 a.m. this morning.

According to the NWS, surf is 7 to 10 feet and moderate impacts can be expected. Strong breaking waves and strong longshore and rip currents will make swimming difficult and dangerous.

Surf will be rough due to strong onshore winds, the NWS said.

A gale warning is also in effect for off-shore waters.

NWS also said early Monday that coastal flooding is possible over the coming days along all shores due to unusually high water levels, with the greatest potential around peak high tides between midnight and daybreak each day.

Although it seemed like a rainy weekend in East Hawaii, some areas received just over an inch of rain.

Burke said that over a 36-hour period, rain gauges in Glenwood measured 1.21 inches.

In the 24-hours ending at 11:45 p.m. Sunday, it rained 0.67 inches at Hilo International Airport.

According to Burke, the rain came from the tail end of an old front that came across the island, “and with the trade winds was able to help squeeze out that moisture partially over the windward sides of the island.”


While it probably seemed like rainfalls amounted to more, Burke said it “wasn’t really heavy rain, just kind of persistent rain” that “seemed like a lot, but the totals weren’t all that high.”

Email Stephanie Salmons at

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