Hawaii Is About to Get 2 Feet of Snow

Mountains could get more than 2 feet
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 3, 2016 8:41 AM CST
Snowstorm Warning Issued ... for Hawaii
The summit of Mauna Kea on Hawaii's Big Island covered in snow as seen from Waimea, Hawaii on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016.   (Grant Matsushige/Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope via AP)

(Newser) – Saturday is going to be a mighty snowy day in Hawaii—but only at the highest elevations. Weather.com reports that a winter storm warning has been issued for peaks including Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa on the Big Island, which could get up to 30 inches of snow. The National Weather Service warns that conditions will be especially dangerous above 12,000 feet, with strong winds causing drifting snow. Mauna Kea's summit is at almost 14,000 feet. "Typically when we get these snow events, it does get a lot of attention," National Weather Service Matthew Foster tells the AP. "We do have very high mountains here."

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Meteorologists say there has been around 36 inches of snow at the highest elevations during recent winters, though the weather service doesn't go out and measure it. Weather.com notes that there is a Hawaii Ski Club, which tells would-be Hawaiian skiiers that "there are no lifts, no grooming, no resort, but a road goes to the summit to serve the dozen or so world-class observatories located at the summit. You must have a 4-wheel drive vehicle to get to the summit." The rest of Hawaii has been told to expect a lot of rain over the weekend. (This hiker almost died in a Hawaiian snowstorm.)

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