Cold front moving through Hawaii brings blustery conditions, gusts to 55 mph

Forecaster say there will be a “significant” north swell to contend with that’s slated to produce dangerously high surf.
Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 8:30 PM HST|Updated: Nov. 24, 2022 at 10:44 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Residents are urged to take precautions and move their Thanksgiving celebrations indoors as a cold front moves through the state.

The National Weather Service has put up several weather alerts for strong winds and extra-large surf on Thanksgiving Day, which are in effect until 6 a.m. Friday.

Weather Forecast: Still on track for strong winds, high surf as Thanksgiving front moves through

Experts say residents in valley areas like Nuuanu Valley are the most vulnerable.

Sheer force of winds coming down the mountain can scatter debris and cause tree falls. And gusts in some spots could reach 55 mph.

Some Nuuanu residents said they weren’t aware of the wind threat but felt they’re as prepared as they can be. Every winter, residents brace for severe weather, from gusty winds to heavy rains.

Nuuanu resident Ann Wong said it doesn’t take much for the street to turn into a river and flood homes.

Over in Manoa, the bigger concern is in the sky with one of Hawaii’s major threats from high winds — Albizia trees. Their weak wood make them prone to breakage.

Forecast: Big waves, high winds and widespread rain heading into Thanksgiving

“They hold a lot of water,” said Lyon Arboretum arborist and tree risk assessor Tylor Schwarze.

“So they have kind of a lot of weight when it rains. And then during high wind events, they’re known to just kind of fail in large pieces. And they cause a lot of property damage.”

Schwarze said the danger zone around a tree is twice its height so if your property lies in that zone, it’s best to remove it before a severe weather event.

“Avoid hiking in heavily wooded areas... you want to stay away from large trees that could potentially fail,” Schwarze said.

He added that if you live in an area with an overhanging Albizia tree, it might be best to have that tree removed because it’s a “risk factor.”

Other precautions to take include:

  • Securing loose items in the yard like trash bins and decorations,
  • Consider moving Thanksgiving celebrations indoors,
  • And check your roof for loose shingles that could blow off and cause damage.