Snowfall continues on both the summits of Maunakea and Mauna Loa. Winter Storm Warning remains in effect for both summits until 6:00 pm this evening (Tuesday, January 26th).
Published by: HIRSC - Weather Team
HEAVY SNOW EXPECTED FOR THE SUMMITS OF MAUNA KEA AND MAUNA LOA UNTIL THIS EVENING... .Moist and unstable conditions will produce periods of heavy snow over the highest summits of the Big Island today. Snow levels are expected to range between 11,500 and 12,500 feet during this event. Below freezing temperatures and high humidity levels will bring periods of ice accumulations in addition to the snowfall. ...WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 PM HST THIS EVENING... * WHAT...Heavy snow with additional accumulations of up to 6 inches. Additional ice accumulations are also expected. * WHERE...Big Island summits above 11,500 feet in elevation. * WHEN...Until 6 PM this evening. * 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
Tuesday, January 26, 2021 - 06:03 a.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 Storm Warning 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.
Field Snowfall Report for Tuesday morning at 8:00 am:
Snow continues to fall on both summits of Maunakea and Mauna Loa. More weather downslope continues to move upwards towards the summits and could possibly see about an inch or two of new snowfall on the summit by sunset on Tuesday evening.
Early reports show that parts of Maunakea seen up over a foot of snowfall occur in the last 24 hours, however, some areas may see very high snowdrifts. The snowplow was successfully able to make up to the summit of Maunakea, however, blizzard-like conditions continue on the summit.
Mauna Loa summit continues to see snowfall as well, however, snow was falling at 12,000-foot elevation and up. No visible snow was noted around the NOAA Observatories at Mauna Loa (11,135-foot elevation), just rainfall was recorded during the overnight periods.
Approximate snowfall on Mauna Loa was estimated to be 8 to 9-inches fell on the summit. Possibility of about 1/2 to 1-inch of snow should be expected through today. The earliest indication shows the Southeast and Southern Slopes of Mauna Loa seen the heaviest snowfall.