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Hurricane Force Winds, 85 mph Gusts Forecast at Haleakalā, Maui

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Satellite imagery. PC: NOAA/NWS

Hurricane force winds with gusts of up to 85 mph are forecast this weekend for the Summit District of Haleakalā National Park.

Park rangers say area closures may occur without notice between now and midnight on Sunday Feb. 10, 2019 for visitor and employee safety.

Hosmer Grove Campground is currently closed until further notice, as are multiple parks around Maui County.

The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning for the summit of Haleakalā until midnight on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019. There’s also a high wind warning in effect for the County of Maui from 4 a.m. until midnight on Sunday.

Haleakalā summit file photo by Wendy Osher.

Winds are the summit are forecast to be in the 40 to 60 mph range with localized gusts of over 85 mph, according to the NWS. Forecasters say winds this strong can make driving and hiking hazardous. Travel to summit areas should be delayed until winds subside.

Winds across other parts of the county are forecast to be from the west at 20 to 40 mph with localized gusts to 60 mph. The NWS says winds “will be strongest over and down slope from higher terrain, and where most efficiently funneled around the terrain and through valleys.”  Forecasters say winds this strong can make driving hazardous, cause damage to roofs and poorly built structures, cause flying debris and result in downed trees and power lines.

The severe weather is the result of a powerful winter storm. The National Weather Service says an area of low pressure will move south toward the main islands tonight and pass by just north of the state on Sunday. “This will send large, destructive surf, locally damaging winds, and periods of showers to parts of the state this weekend. Unsettled weather may persist into the middle of next week as the low lingers to the northeast of the state,” according to the NWS.

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