23/07/2024

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Stunning photos show snow falling on Hawaii’s Maunakea and Mauna Loa

2 min read
Stunning photos show snow falling on Hawaii’s Maunakea and Mauna Loa

NASA Infrared Telescope Facility

Snow dumped on Hawaii’s Maunakea and Mauna Loa, with several inches recorded on these peaks, which both reach nearly 14,000 feet in elevation. 

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The snow was delivered by a Kona low, a type of subtropical cyclone that commonly sweeps across the islands in November. 

Several inches of snow dumped on Hawaii's Maunakea, which has a peak of nearly 14,000 feet. 

Several inches of snow dumped on Hawaii’s Maunakea, which has a peak of nearly 14,000 feet. 

Maunakea Weather Center

Maunakea Weather Center meteorologist Ryan Lyman could not confirm the exact amount of snow but said 5 inches sounded reasonable.

While 5 inches may seem like a surprising amount for a tropical island like Hawaii, it would be nowhere near a record. 

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“We have had instances of more than 2 to 3 feet fell with an event. Events can be short-lived (1 to 2 days) or persist for weeks,” wrote Lyman in an email to SFGATE.

Snow is not uncommon on Maunakea, a dormant volcano, or Mauna Loa, an active one. Maunakea received snow as recently as last winter according to Lyman.

Several inches of snow dumped on Hawaii's Maunakea, which has a peak of nearly 14,000 feet. 

Several inches of snow dumped on Hawaii’s Maunakea, which has a peak of nearly 14,000 feet. 

Maunakea Weather Center

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Haleakala, a volcanic mountain on Maui, has also been known to receive snow, although at just 10,000 feet in elevation, it’s far less common.

Liam Tsamous, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Hawaii office, said while more snow could fall at the summits over the next day, the storm system is forecast to exit the area by Sunday and Monday. 

Several inches of snow dumped on Hawaii's Maunakea, which has a peak of nearly 14,000 feet. 

Several inches of snow dumped on Hawaii’s Maunakea, which has a peak of nearly 14,000 feet. 

Maunakea Weather Center

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Several inches of snow dumped on Hawaii's Maunakea, which has a peak of nearly 14,000 feet. 

Several inches of snow dumped on Hawaii’s Maunakea, which has a peak of nearly 14,000 feet. 

Maunakea Weather Center

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