The National Weather Service in Honolulu, Hawaii has issued a Winter Storm Warning for portions of the Aloha State’s Maui and Hawaii Islands. Hawaii Island is also referred to as the “Big Island” by most. Deep moisture associated from a front moving through the islands will help create periods of heavy snow and/or freezing rain today.
A Winter Storm Warning means significant amounts of snow, sleet, and ice are expected or occurring. Strong winds are also possible. According to the National Weather Service, this will make travel very hazardous or impossible in the warning areas; they strongly encourage that people planning to visit the warning areas postpone their travels until the threat diminishes.
The Winter Storm Warning is up for Haleakala on Maui and Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa on Hawaii Island. While most people don’t associate the tropical paradise Hawaii is known for with snow, they’re surprised to learn that it does snow in the winter due to the elevation of these volcanic peaks. Mauna Kea is the highest of the bunch at 13,803 feet. Maui’s Haleakala is much lower at 10,023 feet. Because of that difference, Hawaii Island will see snow more frequently than the lower Maui Island. The last time it snowed on Maui was last February, when the snow level fell to an estimated 8,000 feet. Mauna Kea saw very heavy snow in January; a winter storm dropped 2-3 feet more and created snow drifts that were far deeper.
For today’s storm, the National Weather Service expects an additional 1-3″ of snow to fall today.