The mainland isn’t the only one experiencing a major winter storm. Just a week after Mauna Loa stopped erupting, Winter Storm Warnings were issued for Hawaii’s Big Island.
The National Weather Service issued the alert for heavy and blowing snow on Monday, with the Winter Storm Warning in effect until 6 a.m. HST on Tuesday.
Up to 8 inches of snow and winds gusting as high as 100 mph are possible on Big Island Summits above 10,500 feet.
Mauna Loa, the world’s largest active volcano, sits at 13,680 feet above sea level, and Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano, is just over 13,800 feet. Both are expected to see near-blizzard conditions.
Early on Monday afternoon, snow and ice covered the Mauna Kea camera.
Snow atop those mountains isn’t rare, though blizzard conditions only happen every several years on average.
The snow is often due to a Kona low, which is when southwest winds bring moisture-filled air over the leeward or “Kona” side of the mountains, creating ample precipitation.
The Mauna Loa volcano began erupting on November 27 and stopped on December 13. This is the first time Mauna Loa has actively erupted since 1984, making it the 33rd eruption since 1843.