Snow blankets Hawaii summits amid powerful winter storm

Snow blankets Hawaii summits amid powerful winter storm
Snow covered Polipoli Spring State Recreation Area on Maui over the weekend (Image: Evan Mazingo)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The strong low pressure system that swept through the islands over the weekend not only ushered in destructive winds and massive surf, but it also brought some extremely cold temperatures and icy conditions to summits on Hawaii Island and Maui.

On Sunday, snow blanketed Polipoli Spring State Recreation Area — a popular park for camping, hunting and hiking on the slopes of Haleakala on Maui — for what may be the first time ever.

At an elevation of about 6,200 feet, officials said this might be the lowest elevation snow has ever been recorded in Hawaii.

Winter nights can have below freezing temperatures, according the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.

A winter weather advisory remains in effect for Haleakala until noon Monday, with occasional snow showers and freezing fog. Additional snow accumulation of less than 1 inch is expected, forecasters said.

The summit district of Haleakala National Park is also closed as roads were reported to be covered with snow and ice.

Over on the Big Island, severe weather was also hitting the summit of Mauna Kea.

A wind advisory has been posted until noon Monday. Earlier over the weekend, one gust was recorded at 191 mph.

Park rangers say the access road to the summit of Mauna Kea will be closed on Monday due to below freezing temperatures, black ice and high humidity. The visitor information station is also closed.

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