You don’t usually associated Bing Crosby’s seminal festive classic, “White Christmas,” with the island of Hawaii, but some of the inhabitants of America’s 50th state could well be celebrating such a thing on Christmas morning.
According to WPXI, the National Weather Service have now issued a blizzard warning to the areas near Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, both of which are located on the Island of Hawaii, which is also known as the Big Island.
The National Weather Service have issued the warning, which will run until 6pm on Wednesday, because they anticipate around 12 inches of snow to fall. This will only occur on areas that are 11,500 feet above the sea.
Weather forecasts have explained that strong winds are now being generated of around 90 mph thanks to low pressure. This means that a stream of moisture is now over the eastern end of Hawaii, and could lead to very heavy snow, as well as lightning strikes.
The service has also instructed hikers and drivers near to the Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa summits to avoid driving in the region because of these conditions.
Jeff Powelll, a lead forecaster at the National Weather Service office in Honolulu, told the Washington Post, “[The blizzard] is kind of an iffy thing. There could be precipitation. We’re now sure if it’s going to be snow or how much. What we’re more sure of are the strong winds.”
The mere thought of snow in Hawaii seem peculiar, but it isn’t actually that uncommon. In fact snow amongst the mountains in the state are believed to be a regular occurrence throughout the year. However it is very unusual for 12 inches of snow to fall in the region.
Unfortunately, official weather records aren’t held for the peaks of Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea so it’s not possible to determine the last time these summits were topped with snow at Christmas.
If Hawaii is layered with snow on Christmas morning, it appears as if it will be one of only a handful of US locations that is. According to the Washington Post, Minneapolis is currently the only other major city that may wake up to a White Christmas on Christmas Day 2014.
Residents across each of the Hawaiian Islands are expected to be affected by the storm throughout Christmas Eve.
And just in case snow does fall in the region and the island’s inhabitants need to learn the lyrics to the song once again, here you are…
[Image via Sabra Morris]