Haleakala reopens but more rain in forecast

The Maui News

Turbulent weather hitting Maui County is expected to continue into today and early this week as snowy Haleakala National Park reopened.

It was a relatively dry day Sunday with only the Puu Alii gauge on Molokai exceeding 1 inch of rain in Maui County and the Haiku gauge nearly reaching an inch in the 24-hour period ending at 3 p.m., according to the National Weather Service.

A return of wet and unsettled conditions is expected late today into Tuesday for Maui County and Hawaii island due to a plume of deep tropical moisture, the weather service said. An upper level trough over the state will create instability that likely will trigger heavy rains and thunderstorms.

As a result, the weather service has issued a flash-flood watch for Maui County and Hawaii island from 6 p.m. today to 6 p.m. Tuesday.

A high-surf warning for east-facing shores and an advisory for north-facing shores of Maui and Molokai were extended to 6 a.m. today, the weather service said. Surf is expected to hit 10 to 16 feet today.

A combination of northeast and east swells are generating the high surf, the weather service said. The surf is expected to diminish today.

Beachgoers should expect large breaking and sweeping waves and swimmers should expect strong currents.

Kanaha and Fleming beaches reported 4- to 8-foot waves at midday Sunday, the national weather service said. Hookipa was not reporting.

The weather was expected to improve the second half of the week as the turbulence moves eastward Tuesday night and Wednesday, the weather service said.

The Summit District of Haleakala reopened Saturday, after being closed for six days due to a severe winter storm that left snow, ice, fallen trees and rocks on roads. The warmer temperatures melted much of the snow and ice, park spokeswoman Nancy Stimson said.

The weather service forecast above-freezing temperatures Sunday night, 35 to 48 degrees, and mostly clear skies.

The forecast for today at Haleakala is mostly cloudy with showers likely and a chance of thunderstorms; 50 percent chance of rain. High temperatures are forecast at 54 degrees at the 7,000-foot level with 10 to 25 mph southerly winds.