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Summer Snowfall in Hawaii?

21 Jul 2015, 2:35 pm

snow hawaiiWhen one thinks of Hawaii, and especially in the Summer season, they think of a lush, tropical paradise with warm temps and scenes of waves crashing on beaches. But there is also another side to the Hawaii Islands that most don’t see, and few probably know about.

Way up in elevation on the Big Island, over 13,000 feet, the volcanic tops can sometimes see Summer snow. This time lapse imagery shows some light snow occurring overnight and into the early morning hours on Sunday. We’re not talking a few feet, but just a coating to a few inches is possible with summer snow storms. Up on the volcanic tops, folks are cautioned about the unpredictable weather that can occur in the higher elevations.

Tropical moisture is pushed on to the landmasses via the Easterly Trade Winds, and pushed up slope, up the mountainous areas. The clouds quickly form and begin to produce shower activity. At the surface, temperatures are warm, and into the 70s and 80s. But up aloft, temps can be about 40 degrees cooler. So with colder conditions, in combination with precipitation, leads to that potential snow.

If you are planning on hiking in Hawaii, in the Summer, plan accordingly, because you may face all types of weather up there.


For WeatherNation: Meteorologist, Addison Green
(Photo: University of Arizona)

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