A Winter Storm Warning for the Island of Hawaii summits of Maunakea and Mauna Loa remains in effect through Tuesday evening (January 26th). More snow is expected to fall on both summits overnight.
HIRSC - Weather Team
HEAVY SNOW EXPECTED FOR MAUNA KEA AND MAUNA LOA... .Moist and unstable conditions will produce periods of heavy snow into Tuesday. Snow levels are expected to be between 11,500 and 12,500 feet during this event. ...WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 PM HST TUESDAY... * WHAT...Heavy snow with additional accumulations of up to 8 inches. * WHERE...Big Island Summits above 11,500 feet in elevation. * WHEN...Until 6 PM Tuesday. * IMPACTS...Travel could be very difficult or impossible. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... A Winter Storm Warning means significant amounts of snow, sleet, and ice are expected or occurring. Strong winds are also possible. This will make travel very hazardous or impossible. Travel to the summits should be postponed until the threat diminishes.
Maunakea Access Road Status: CLOSED
Monday, January 25, 2021 - 02:09 p.m.
The Maunakea summit access road will remain closed to the public at the Visitor Information Station located at the 9,200 feet elevation due to consistent snowing and icy road conditions with fog, high humidity, and freezing temperatures.
The Winter Weather Watch issued by the National Weather Service for the Big Island summits remains in effect until 6 p.m. Tuesday.
The Maunakea Rangers will continue to monitor and update on the summit weather as conditions change.
Snowfall Observation Report as of 9:00 pm Monday evening:
Significant snowfall amounts have been witnessed on the north (Kamuela) slope of Maunakea, very visible from the heart of Kamuela. Estimations on the snowfall were approximately 5 to 6-inches fallen on the north slope and a possible higher amount on the eastern and southern slopes. The snow had to be an estimated 12,000-foot elevation, possibly 11,000-foot point.
A significant amount had fallen on Mauna Loa, estimations were approximately 3 to 4 inches on the southwestern slope. Possibly more on the southern slope. Snowfall at the Mauna Loa Observatories has since melted as of 6:00 pm Monday evening due to warm air recorded around the observatories, which was visible earlier this morning. Snowfall was happening at the 11,700-foot elevation and up.
Could see up to 1 to 2 inches more of snow falling on both summits through Tuesday, as more moisture from the south was slowly coming onshore to Hawaii Island.