The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning For the Big Island summits, start at 6 p.m. on Friday and continue until 6 a.m. on Sunday.
The Weather Service states that travel could prove difficult or impossible. “Blowing snow can significantly reduce visibility at times and lead to periods of no visibility.”
This warning applies only to Mauna Loa’s and Mauna Kea’s peaks, which respectively reach 13,679 feet and 13,803ft in elevation. Rain is not expected in most other areas of Hawaii, except for the beaches. Temperatures are usually in the 60s or 70s.
It is not uncommon for Mauna Loa or Mauna Kea to have snow; in most years it snows on these summits at least once a year. Memorably, They were wrapped in blankets at Christmas 2014 . It even increased in 2016 Mid-June: snowed on Mauna Kea .
There is enough snow on Mauna Kea to make skiing possible, provided you are willing to use a four-wheel drive car as your lift .
However, blizzard conditions are not as common. The Weather Service issued a blizzard alert in Hawaii in 2018.
When snow is scarce in the Lower 48, it is expected to reach the 50th state. Only 6 per cent of the contiguous United States was covered in snow on Friday, which is the lowest level in almost two decades of records.
The snow may disappear for many years in Mountain West due to climate warming
Stormy weather in Hawaii can often be accompanied by calm conditions in the Lower 48 states. This is because the jet stream, which causes storms, is dropping over the northeastern Pacific Ocean, but bulging over western United States. This brings warm, dry conditions.
It snowed in Hawaii in 2014 on Christmas Day. The weather was milder in the Lower 48 and there was an abnormally low amount of snow.
A powerful system is responsible for Hawaiian snow. It’s known as a Kona low or Kona storm. The Western Regional Climate Center says that while some years might not have a single storm, others may see four to five.
Prevailing winds above the islands are typically out of the northeast and east, but Kona lows draw winds from the southwest and tap abundant moisture.
This Kona low is expected to slow down, moving west of Kauai this weekend and continuing into next week.
Flood watches have been put in place on all islands due to the possibility of excessive rainfall, according to the Weather Service.
The Weather Service warns that flooding could occur from the overflowing of streams and drainages. Roads may be closed in some areas, and property damage from runoff in low- or urban areas could result in closures. In areas with steep terrain, landslides can also occur.
Computer models predict that there will be at least a few inches of rain on all islands by the middle of next weeks, and possibly even double-digit amounts in certain areas. Oahu is where the most severe amounts of rain are predicted. The most vulnerable to flooding and mudslides are those on mountain slopes that face the windward.
Despite the flood potential, there will be some rain due to the widespread drought in Hawaii. The state is experiencing drought conditions in more than half. The worst conditions are located over Maui and Molokai.