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Blizzard warnings issued in Hawaii, first since 2018

Published: Dec. 3, 2021 at 6:44 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - While many of us here in the Midwest are wondering where winter’s first substantial snow is, parts of Hawaii are bracing for blizzard conditions! Yes, that’s right, Blizzard Warnings have been issued for the summits of Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawaii. This is the first blizzard warning for the peaks since 2018. The snow part of a storm system that is expected to bring widespread heavy rainfall, gusty winds, isolated thunderstorms to the islands.

While Hawaii is typically known as a tropical destination, the mountainous peaks are so huge, they reach far enough up into the atmosphere that is cold enough to snow for parts of the year. The volcanic summits typically see a few rounds of snow every fall and winter, but blizzard conditions are decidedly rarer.

Hawaii Blizzard Warning
Hawaii Blizzard Warning(WOWT)

The National Weather Service is warning that up to a foot of snow may fall over the weekend, along with extreme wind gusts up to 100mph. Very dangerous conditions for anyone trying to reach the summits! Thankfully, the mountain peaks are largely unpopulated, with scientific observation stations the biggest draws. The storm did prompt Volcanoes National Park to close the summit of Mauna Loa.

Widespread heavy rain is expected across several Hawaiian islands throughout the weekend as part of the storm. Some areas could pick up 5 to as much as 10 inches of rainfall, with flood watches in effect across the state.

Heavy rain, potential flooding expected in Hawaii
Heavy rain, potential flooding expected in Hawaii(WOWT)

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