There is a blizzard warning on the Big Island of Hawaii until Sunday morning.
Forecasters expect up to 12 inches or more of snow on the island as of 6 p.m. Friday through 6 a.m. Sunday due to the snowfall. The NWS warns residents to stay indoors, as forecasters are predicting wind gusts of over 100 miles per hour.
The NWS’s weather warning states that travel could be difficult to impossible. In addition, blowing snow will significantly reduce visibility at times, with periods of zero visibility.
Other than the warning for the blizzard, a Kona low is forecast for Saturday night near the islands. Hawaii experiences seasonal cyclones called Kona storms, formed by winds coming from the westward “Kona” direction. Kona lows often associates with rainy and unpredictable weather.
Snowfall may indeed seem rare in Hawaii, but it occurs every year in certain mountainous regions.
Hawaii’s largest island, the Big Island, was in the snow last January. According to the Weather Channel, Hawaii’s Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa volcanoes rise over 13,000 feet in elevation, so when cold fronts and heavy rains form snowfalls.
The observation of a record-low temperature of 12 degrees was recorded at the Mauna Kea Observatory on May 17, 1979.