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Hawaii Blizzard Drops 8 Inches of Snow in Mountains

Image: Hawaii Blizzard Drops 8 Inches of Snow in Mountains

Mauna Kea in Hawaii is covered in snow. (Screengrab via Twitter)

By    |   Friday, 03 Mar 2017 08:33 AM

A Hawaii blizzard dropped eight inches of snow on mountain peaks in the island state, where the storm lingered and had a larger-than-usual impact.

Andrew Orrison, of the National Weather Service Prediction Center, told Reuters that this winter has already been unusual for Hawaii, which is approaching an all-time record for rainfall and snow packs not seen since the 1982-83 winter.

"The reason for the snow amounts being heavier than we usually see is that the upper low (pressure system) really persisted down there, that has allowed colder air to remain locked in place," Orrison told Reuters.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported earlier this week that Hawaiian mountain summits were under blizzard warnings after they were blanketed with snow Tuesday.

"… Heavy snow showers, strong winds and poor visibilities are expected at the Big Island summits, with a chance for thunderstorms as well," a National Weather Service warning said, Tuesday, according to the Star-Advertiser.

Forecasters had expected snowfall of six to 10 inches and southwesterly winds of 45 to 55 miles per hour with gusts to 65 mph Thursday on summits above 11,000 feet.

Snow is not uncommon on Hawaii's peaks during the winter months, with the Mauna Kea, Hawaii's highest point, sustaining a sub-Arctic climate, USA Today reported.

"As long as we have deep enough clouds to support ice crystals, and when you have cold enough temperatures at the summit level, you can get snowfall," Matthew Foster, a staff meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Honolulu, told USA Today.

Snow fell on Mauna Loa and its sister peak of Mauna Kea, both volcanoes, in December. In early December, the peaks received nearly 30 inches of snow, along with high winds, according to AccuWeather.

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A Hawaii blizzard dropped eight inches of snow on mountain peaks in the island state, where the storm lingered and had a larger-than-usual impact.
hawaii, blizzard, snow, mountains
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2017-33-03
Friday, 03 Mar 2017 08:33 AM
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