Snow in Hawaii? In July?
That doesn’t seem right. However, according to the Associated Press, an overnight thunderstorm left one-and-a-half to two inches of snow on the summit of Hawaii’s tallest peak.
Even as of Friday, snow lingered at the summit of Mauna Kea. Cameras captured the phenomenon just to prove its for real.
Mauna Kea Weather Center forecast meteorologist Ryan Lyman says the snow in Hawaii should be melting quickly.
National Weather Service meteorologist Maureen Ballard says snow in Hawaii in July isn’t that unheard of.
— Lance Owens (@KonaHomeTeam) July 17, 2015
According to Ballard, snow can fall on the summit year-round, but is certainly more prevalent in the winter months.
The snow in Hawaii came from a thunderstorm that extended high into the atmosphere, above the mountain’s 14,000-ft. peak elevation, where temperatures hovered around the freezing mark overnight.
The low in the nearby city of Hilo was 71 degrees. Kailua-Kona, on the west side of the Big Island, had a low of 78 degrees.
According to the Huffington Post, Mauna Kea is a dormant volcano that gets snow regularly in the winter months, but rarely in the summer.
— Chris McGinnis (@cjmcginnis) July 18, 2015
“It can happen,” meteorologist Ryan Lyman told West Hawaii Today about the snowstorm. “Even in July.”
In the summer, average high temperatures at the summit are around 40 degrees, and average lows are around 25 degrees.
The chance of another freak snowstorm in Hawaii any time soon is unlikely, Ballard said.
“It’s not out of the realm of possibility that something more could happen at the summit, but temperatures are rising,” Ballard said.
— Jeff Last (@JeffLast) July 18, 2015
The snow closed the road leading up to the summit and hampered telescope operations at the Canada France telescope by creating high humidity, and domes were closed to prevent moisture from getting on mirrors, said Ballard.
Has anyone ever seen a snowstorm in Hawaii in July? I didn’t think so.
[Image via Twitter/Lance Owens]