PHOTO ABOVE: Mar. 10, 2015: Snow capped Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa seen from above, photo by Andrew Hara
Snow Piles Up High on Hawaii Summits
MAUNA KEA – Already under a blanket of snow, the summits of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa now face a blizzard.
The National Weather Service issued the blizzard warning for the Big Island summits above 11500 feet, in effect through Thursday.
Total snow accumulations of 5 to 8 inches are expected. Also, west winds will whip at 45 to 65 mph with localized gusts over 80 mph.
“Travel to the summits,” writes the National Weather Service, “Either on foot or by vehicle…Will be dangerous. A blizzard warning means severe winter weather conditions are expected or occurring. Falling and blowing snow with strong winds and poor visibilities are likely. This will lead to whiteout conditions… Making travel extremely dangerous. Do not travel. If you must travel… Have a winter survival kit with you. If you get stranded… Stay with your vehicle.”
This message was posted to the Mauna Kea Weather Center website:
The road to the summit of Maunakea is CLOSED to the public due to blizzard-like conditions at the summit. Due to ice and snow on the road and high winds in the summit area, the road will stay closed through the night. Please note that the anemometer (wind gauge) is currently frozen and not giving accurate readings, but winds at the summit are anywhere between 40 and 55 mph. Poor weather is forecast for the next several days, and we do not know when the road will re-open. An early morning inspection will be conducted tomorrow and this message will be updated at that time.
Mahalo and have a safe day,
VIS Staff on Tuesday, March 10, 2015 – 06:27 p.m.