September 26, 2016 | 74° | Check Traffic

Top News| Weather

Snow falls on Mauna Kea as temperatures hit record levels

  • COURTESY W.M. KECK OBSERVATORYThis webcamera image shows snow on the ground at the summit of Mauna Kea Friday morning.
    COURTESY W.M. KECK OBSERVATORY
    This webcamera image shows snow on the ground at the summit of Mauna Kea Friday morning.
  • COURTESY NASA INFRARED TELESCOPE FACILITYThis webcamera image looking at Mauna Loa shows snow at the summit of Mauna Kea Friday morning.
    COURTESY NASA INFRARED TELESCOPE FACILITY
    This webcamera image looking at Mauna Loa shows snow at the summit of Mauna Kea Friday morning.
  • COURTESY CANADA-FRANCE-HAWAII TELESCOPEThis webcamera image from the Canada-France-Hawaii telescope shows snow on the ground at the summit of Mauna Kea Friday.
    COURTESY CANADA-FRANCE-HAWAII TELESCOPE
    This webcamera image from the Canada-France-Hawaii telescope shows snow on the ground at the summit of Mauna Kea Friday.
  • NOAA / NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICEThis satellite image taken Friday morning shows rain clouds over the Big Island as an area of moist, unstable weather moves over Hawaii.
    NOAA / NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
    This satellite image taken Friday morning shows rain clouds over the Big Island as an area of moist, unstable weather moves over Hawaii.

Snow fell on Mauna Kea Friday even as temperatures rose to record levels and muggy weather continued at lower elevations Friday.

Webcamera images showed snow on the ground at the Mauna Kea summit, 13,796 feet above sea level, Friday morning following overnight storms on the Big Island.

“It’s not unheard of,” said Matthew Foster, a meteorologist with the Honolulu office of the National Weather Service. “It’s rare, but under these conditions, the thunderstorms (overnight) just happened to go over the summit of Mauna Kea.”

Heavy rains over the Big Island overnight into Friday morning prompted a flood advisory for Hawaii County that was lifted at about 8 a.m.

Radar showed heavy rain across the windward side of the island from Waipio Valley to Hakalau to Mountain View and Volcano. A rain gauge at Piihonua reported a rain rate of an inch an hour early Friday morning.

Heavy rains prompted a brief flood advisory for Oahu Thursday afternoon until about 4:30 p.m.

In the 24-hour period ending at 8 a.m., Poamoho in the mountains above Wahiawa got more than 3.8 inches of rain. nearly 2.1 inches fell in the northern Koolaus and 1.9 inches was recorded at the Punaluu Stream.

On Hawaii island, nearly 5.8 inches fell at Waiakea Uka, nearly 5 inches was recorded at Mountain View and the Hilo Airport got about 3.9 inches.

The hot, muggy weather and chance of more showers is expected to continue through Saturday morning.

Thursday’s high temperaures tied records for the date at the Hilo and Honolulu airports. The high in Hilo of 89 degrees tied a record set in 1986.

Honolulu Airport’s high temperature of 91 degrees tied a record set in 1995. High temperature records have been set or tied 20 times so far in July.

High temperatures are expected to be near record levels again Friday.

Forecasters blame an area of moist, unstable weather that moved over the islands for the muggy weather and rain Thursday and Friday.

Rains Friday could be heavy at times and there is a slight chance of thunderstorms.

Tradewinds are expected to blow most of the rain clouds over windward and mauka areas. But some of the showers may make it over to leeward areas.

Drier conditions and breezier tradewinds are expected over the weekend.

A developing weather system may block the tradewinds early next week, creating more muggy weather and the chance of afternoon showers in leeward and mauka areas.

Out in the East Pacific, it’s still too early to say if what’s left of Tropical Depression Enrique and Tropical Storm Dolores will impact Hawaii’s weather other than sending some surf to east and north shores.

East shores should see a slight bump in surf heights from both systems.

Enrique weakened to a tropical depression Friday and is expected to become a remnant low on Saturday. The storm was as about 1,750 miles west of Baja California Friday morning and was nearly stationary. There’s a chance that moisture from Enrique could get caught up in the tradewind flow next weekend and bring some rain.

Dolores also continued to weaken as it moved into cooler waters. It was no longer a hurricane Friday morning with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph and was moving west-northwest at 10 mph. The storm was 340 miles southwest of Cabo San Lazaro, Mexico. It should become a tropical depression Saturday night.

No comments
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.