Rains also hit west side of island in desperate need

Mauna Kea, Hawaii – Video courtesy Manua Kea observatory webcams

A rare springtime dusting of snow swept over the summit of Mauna Kea today, as other parts of the Big Island got a needed blast of rainy weather.

The snow moved in around noon time, a poetic punctuation mark on the ongoing Merrie Monarch Festival going on below in Hilo.
It was a few months ago, as the mainland United States struggled through a bitter winter, that the entire country strained to see if so much as one snowflake would fall on Hawaii’s sacred mountain. That’s because, for one fleeting moment, there was snow somewhere in all 49 other American states; the lone holdout was Hawaii.

Residents on the drought stricken west side of the island also reported heavy rainfall today. A ranger at Puukohola Heiau said the national historic site received more rain than it has gotten in half a year. Park staff said that the one inch that soaked the Kohala landmark  in one hour equaled 20% of the rainfall that has fallen in the entire past year.

The Kona side of the island has been under a severe drought for the past year, presumably made worse by the effects of El Nino.