Blizzard warning issued for Big Island summits as most of US faces snow drought

Published: Dec. 3, 2021 at 9:40 PM HST|Updated: Dec. 4, 2021 at 1:26 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning for the summits of Hawaii Island.

Forecasters said snow accumulations of 12 inches or more could fall on Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa.

NWS said winds could also reach over 100 mph. Experts said the strong winds will likely cause significant drifting of snow.

The blizzard warning is in effect until Sunday at 6 a.m.

Officials warn that travel to the summits could be very difficult to impossible as blowing snow can reduce visibility. They added that travel should be restricted to emergencies only.

On Friday, Maunakea Rangers closed the road to the summit of Mauna Kea until further notice due to fog, high humidity and icy conditions.

Meanwhile, the National Park Service closed the Mauna Loa summit above 10,000 feet to all backcountry and overnight use, and no permits are being issued for Mauna Loa Cabin.

NWS said the rare blizzard warning for Hawaii comes as most of the continental United States is in a snow drought.

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