MAUNA KEA, Hawaii – Hawaii Island summits are covered in snow for the second time this month.
The National Weather Service in Honolulu has issued a Winter Storm Warning for snow, which is in effect until midnight HST tonight. This replaces the Winter Weather Advisory which is no longer in effect.
Mauna Kea summit webcams already show snow piled high on roads and around observatories on the summit.
Forecasters say an upper level disturbance moving over the eastern end of the state is resulting in heavy snow for the Big Island summits above 12,000 feet.
Snow accumulation of 6 to 12 inches is expected through midnight.
The road to the summit of Mauna Kea is closed to the public at the Visitor Information Station at an elevation of 9,200 feet due to heavy fog, snow/ice on the summit roads, rangers say.
The summit of Mauna Loa remains closed beyond Red Hill due to winter storm conditions, the National Park Service says. Hikers can still obtain an overnight permit and stay at Red Hill Cabin. Backcountry permits to areas above 10,000 feet are temporarily suspended and day hiking is prohibited.
Conditions will be dangerous, forecasters warn. Winds are southwest winds 15 to 30 mph with gusts to 45 mph and temperatures are in the upper 20’s to lower 30’s. Visibilities are below one quarter mile at times.