The National Weather Service (NWS) office in Honolulu, Hawaii has issued another round of Winter Storm Watches for portions of Hawaii’s Big Island. The NWS cautions that heavy snow with accumulations of a foot or more are possible in the Winter Storm Watch area, which extends from Tuesday morning through late Wednesday night. A slow moving cold front will bring the possibility for heavy showers and thunderstorms to parts of the Hawaii Monday night through Wednesday. With ample cold air to tap into on Hawaii’s highest elevations, precipitation will fall as snow there.
The Winter Storm Watch is up for the Big Island summits of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa above 12,000 feet. The heavy snow in the Winter Storm Watch area could be accompanied by strong wind gusts, blwoing snow, low visbilities, and cloud to ground lightning.
The National Weather Service issues Winter Storm Watched when there is potential for significant snow, sleet or ice accumulations. In the case of this Winter Storm Watch, the NWS warns that anyone planning travel to the summits, including hikers and campers, should monitor the latest forecasts and consider postponing their trip until better weather returns.
Despite it’s tropical location, snow is a common occurrence on Hawaii’s highest volcanic slopes. Snow fell just over 2 weeks ago with the start of meteorological winter. Snow also fell in May.