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Snow in Hawaii Predicted for Mountaintops in Weekend Weather System

Image: Snow in Hawaii Predicted for Mountaintops in Weekend Weather System

Snow can be seen on the summit of Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawaii on Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013. Unlikely as it seems, snow falls regularly on the higher elevations of the Big Island's volcanoes, especially Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. (AP Photo/Tim Wright)

By    |   Friday, 02 Dec 2016 02:46 PM

There could be snow in Hawaii through Saturday on the summits of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, according to National Weather Service winter storm warnings, wrote Hawaii News Now on Friday.

The summits could get as much as a whopping 20 to 30 inches at elevations about 8,000 feet, the warning said, Hawaii News Now reported.

Sub-freezing temperatures and unstable conditions are coming to the elevations because of upper level low pressure. Moisture coming in from the southeast along with the low could bring heavy snow to the highest elevations, particularly above 12,000 feet.

Mauna Kea already received a dusting of snow back in October, and snow covered the ground at the University of Hawaii-Hilo's Physics and Astronomy telescope on the Mauna Kea summit.

While the October snow melted by the afternoon, this weekend's storm is expected to be more treacherous with strong winds creating drifting snow and freezing fog, reducing visibility to a half-mile, wrote Hawaii News Now.

Roads leading to the Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa summits will be closed due to the threat of high winds and authorities are prohibiting hiking and overnight camping.

"The snow level almost never gets below 9,000 feet in Hawaii during the winter, but since these mountains are taller than 13,000 feet, 13,000 feet, and 10,000 feet, respectively, they get dusted with snow a few times a year," Ken Rubin, a geology and geophysics professor at the University of Hawaii, told The Weather Channel in 2015.

"It rarely stays on the ground for more than a few days though," Rubin added.

Those who want a rare opportunity to ski in Hawaii do face significant challenges.

"Mauna Kea is a National Science Reserve and is not maintained as a ski area. Skiing areas may have unmarked and exposed rocks," the Mauna Kea Ski Corporation said, noted The Weather Channel. "Adverse weather conditions may arise unexpectedly ... most runs are for intermediate to advanced skiers/snowboarders ... weather permitting."

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There could be snow in Hawaii through Saturday on the summits of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, according to National Weather Service winter storm warnings, wrote Hawaii News Now on Friday.
snow, hawaii, mountains
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2016-46-02
Friday, 02 Dec 2016 02:46 PM
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