Sometimes winter is inescapable, even if you’re taking a February vacation to the tropics! Parts of Hawaii experienced a rare coating of snowfall over the weekend as part of a powerful storm system, which is now moving away from the state.
The National Weather Service in Honolulu has called the snow event “very unusual”, after several inches fell on Haleakalā, a volcano in East Maui. Maui’s Polipoli State Park received a coating of snow, something that could be a first for the island. According to Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources, the state park could be the lowest elevation on record for accumulating snow in the state (at 6,200 ft).
While this particular event was unusual, snowfall isn’t too uncommon within the state overall. While Maui does not often see snow, the nearby Big Island does sometimes get snowfall atop the higher peaks of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa.
Mauna Kea did also get some intense and impressive weather; a wind gust of 191 mph was recorded on Sunday. Another rarity produced by this storm system was a severe thunderstorm warning, which was issued for the island of Kauai.
Fortunately, conditions are expected to improve by Tuesday, as the storm system that slammed Hawaii over the weekend exits to the west.