Hawaii mountain gets share of 'extreme winter conditions'

Hawaii mountain gets share of 'extreme winter conditions'

Yes, it snowed in Maui, Hawaii.

Snow is not unheard of in mountainous parts of the tropical island chain, but officials say the coating at 6,200 feet (1,900 meters) at a state park on Maui could mark the lowest-elevation snowfall ever recorded in the state. Hawaii News Now reported that the surf was forecast to top out at 60 feet (18 metres) on Sunday.

A historic low-pressure system passed through the Hawaiian Islands over the weekend, leaving behind damaging winds and record snowfall, according to the National Weather Service and Department of Land and Natural Resources.

Hawaii saw a mixed bag of weird precipitation over the weekend as well.

The National Weather Service in Honolulu has called the snow event "very unusual", after several inches fell on Haleakalā, a volcano in East Maui.

'That's the strongest wind gust I've ever seen up there, ' said Jon Jelsema, senior forecaster at the Weather Service office in Honolulu.

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"For perhaps the first time ever, snow has fallen in a Hawai'i State Park". Haleakala National Park remains without power and Maui Electric personnel are working with county, state and federal agencies to assess damage and make repairs. "We tend to get a gust maybe to 150 miles per hour once a winter or so, but never 191 miles per hour". Another rarity produced by this storm system was a severe thunderstorm warning, which was issued for the island of Kauai.

Speeds in Port Allen in Kauai County were as high as 67 miles per hour and 191 miles per hour at Mauna Kea Summit in Hawaii County.

Wave heights approached 40 feet just north of the island on Sunday.

Snow came to Polipoli amid a winter storm that hit other parts of the state, bringing low temperatures, snow, winds and powerful surf. That's down from a peak of almost 27,000.

A high wind warning was in effect for the Big Island summits until 6 p.m. HST (11 p.m. ET) Tuesday. The peaks of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, which reach higher than 13,000 feet, receive snow every winter, while the summit of Haleakala volcano sees snow at elevations above 9,000 feet every three to four years.

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