Wednesday, December 7, 2016


Hey, I’m sure you remember my having written about Hawaii not so long ago, but now here’s a little news story happening there that’s quite interesting. Everybody knows that Hawaii is a tropical paradise out in the middle of the Pacific, where it’s ideally warm and sunny to enjoy the surf and sea, or the natural sights further inland. But did you know that even here snow also falls? Indeed, in certain highly elevated locations of the state such as its highest peaks Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, one can expect the heaviest concentration of snowfall anywhere in Hawaii, giving the two their white peaks.

But as BBC tells it, this year there has been a report of snow falling at even much lower altitudes than the usual, according to local weather experts. In fact certain locations in the state have actually received warnings of winter weather, and in the past few days these parts of the state saw record snowfall of up to three feet in depth. In other parts however, where it’s still warm enough, the snow has instead turned into flash flooding. And it doesn’t seem to be about to let up any time soon.

Meteorologist Matt Foster further explains the mechanics of snow as it usually is in Hawaii. As stated before, the white stuff is most likely to fall on the peaks of Mauna Kea and Loa, owing to their heights of nearly 4,260m. That’s plenty high enough to ensure that they get snow at about five or six times in a years, although this tended to be only two to three feet for a few days at most. And in fact there have been times when the mountains become snow-free all year, like in 2015.

However, the slight overabundance of falling snow on the slopes were enough to cut off road access to the two peaks for at least until Monday December 5, when skiers and snowboarders are expected to troop up to enjoy the holidays.

Elsewhere though, Hawaii is seeing some heavy rains instead of snow with temperatures running at just about 20°C. According to the US National Weather Service, this unusual weather pattern came about due to a combination of low atmospheric pressure and deep tropical moisture. At least there will be sunshine whenever the rain breaks, thankfully.

The summits of both Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa are home to several independent research facilities and astronomical observatories, with several large telescopes on site.

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