MAUNA KEA, Hawaii – The top of Mauna Kea appears frozen in ice, as Sunday welcomes a thin coating of snow to the 13,800 foot Hawaii Island summit.
Images from the observatory webcams show a winter wonderland. Not much snow, but plenty of ice, hanging from the buildings that house the multi-million dollar telescopes.
The Mauna Kea Access Road is closed at the Visitor Information Station. “The ranger has reported icy conditions with patchy snowfall of less than 1/2 inch in places,” stated the message on the Mauna Kea Weather Center website. “High humidity and below freezing temperatures continue, creating the possibility for conditions for worsen”.
Down below in the town of Hilo, folks felt the chill when waking up this morning. Images of snow and ice began to circulate around social media shortly after.
Snow on the top of Mauna Kea is not rare in the winter, when passing storms always threaten to leave a few inches above 13,000 feet, where the climate is considerably cooler than the tropical warmth at sea level.