A Winter Storm Warning is now in effect for the summits of Maunakea and Mauna Loa through Tuesday evening (January 26th).
Published by: HIRSC - Weather Team
HEAVY SNOW EXPECTED FOR MAUNA KEA AND MAUNA LOA... .Moist air and a trough aloft will combine to produce periods of heavy snow between tonight and Tuesday. Snow levels are expected to be between 11,500 and 12,500 feet during this event. WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 PM HST TUESDAY... * WHAT...Heavy snow. Additional snow accumulations of up to 12 inches. Winds gusting as high as 45 mph. * WHERE...Big Island Summits above 11500 feet of elevations. * 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
The Maunakea summit access road is closed to the public at the Visitor Information Station located at the 9,200 feet elevation due to the forecast for high humidity, below-freezing temperatures, winter weather conditions overnight. The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for the Big Island summits until
6 p.m. Tuesday.
The Maunakea Rangers will update on the summit weather as conditions change.
Field Snowfall report for Maunakea and Maunaloa:
Snowfall is happening at approximately the 11,135-foot elevation on Mauna Loa (in the area of the NOAA Weather Observatory at Mauna Loa). Approximately 1/2 to 1 inch of snow had fallen overnight and more is expected going into Monday. A dusting of snow is visible on the Mauna Loa webcams at the observatories and also on Moku'āweoweo
On the summit of Maunakea, snowfall is happening just below the 12,000-foot elevation on Maunakea, and snowfall accumulations were approximately 3/4 to 1-inch of snow had fallen during the overnight period. More is expected as we progress into Monday. A blanket of snow is visible on the summit observatory webcams.
Forecast show accumulations up to 6-inches or more are expected on summits through Tuesday afternoon with the heaviest happening this morning through Tuesday morning.