UPDATE: Winds Force Temporary Closure of Summit to Some Vehicles
By Wendy Osher
(Update: 2:45 p.m. 1/22/14)
The summit area was reopened to high profile vehicles at 2:45 on Wednesday afternoon. The area was temporarily closed to vehicles carrying 15 or more passengers due to strong wind gusts blowing in excess of 50 mph, which made driving difficult. The closure was implemented at around 1:55 p.m., and lifted at 2:45 p.m.
(Posted: 1:55 p.m. 1/22/14)
The summit area of Haleakalā is temporarily closed to high profile vehicles due to sustained high winds, park officials announced this afternoon.
Due to sustained winds in excess of 50 mph, high profile vehicles with 15 passengers or more are not being allowed at the summit, said Polly Angelakis, chief of interpretation and education at Haleakalā National Park.
Angelakis said these vehicles will be permitted again once the winds die down.
There is currently a wind advisory in effect for the area above 6,000 feet within the Haleakalā National Park boundaries.
The advisory remains in effect until 6 p.m. tonight, with winds expected to be westerly blowing at 30 to 45 mph, with 55 mph gusts, according to the National Weather Service.
Forecasters advise that winds this strong can make driving difficult, especially for high profile vehicles.
There is also a wind advisory in effect for the islands of Lānaʻi and Kahoʻolawe, and the western section of Molokaʻi until 6 p.m.
The NWS forecasts northwesterly winds blowing at 25 to 35 mph with localized gusts over 40 mph. Forecasters say the winds should start subsiding late this afternoon.