On Sunday and into Monday, Hawaii has been warned to brace for an unprecedented storm which will have strong winds, cause coastal flooding and even some snow in higher areas. The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a high wind warning, which is in effect from 3.23am Sunday HST (5pm GMT) and will last until 6am HST (8pm GMT). Winds of between 25-40mph are expected, with gusts reaching up to 60mph.
The NWS predicts that peak winds could hit this afternoon local time (Monday morning GMT).
Warnings surrounding strong winds include potential hazardous driving conditions, damage to roofs and poorly built structures, and result in flying debris.
Additionally, downed trees can be expected along with widespread power outages.
There are also high surf warnings for north and west facing shores of Kauai, Niihau, Oahu and Molokai and for north facing shores of Maui.
Also affected are:
- West facing shores of Big Island
- North facing shores of Big Island
- West facing shores of Lanai, Maui and Kahoolawe.
The intense low-pressure system will pass just north of the islands today (Sunday), resulting in giant disorganised waves.
The NWS warned that this event may bring unprecedented coastal flooding to north and west facing shores during the period of largest waves during the afternoon today and into the evening hours.
- Anyone with a vulnerable ocean front property needs to complete their preparations now.
- Also due to the Gale force westerly winds, rough and choppy wind swell will rapidly increase along west facing shores this afternoon and tonight.
- Waves could reach up to 60ft today and into tonight along the north and west facing shores of Niihau and Kauai and north facing shores of Oahu, Molokai and Maui.
- Also, waves of 30 to 40 feet today and tonight will impact along exposed west facing shores of Oahu and Molokai.
The NWS warned to expect, “Ocean water surging and sweeping over beaches, coastal benches, and roadways, creating the potential for significant damage to coastal properties and infrastructure, including roadways.
“Coastal evacuations and road closures are possible.
“Large breaking waves may affect harbour entrances and channels with significant damage possible to docks, piers, ramps, and boats.
“These dangerous conditions mean that only highly experienced persons should enter the water.
“Inexperienced persons should remain off beaches and adjacent beachfront areas.
“Large breaking surf, significant shore break, and dangerous currents make entering the water very hazardous.
“Anyone entering the water could face significant injury or death.”