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Snow likely to stay at summits, roads reopen

By Star-Advertiser Staff

LAST UPDATED: 1:25 p.m. HST, Feb 23, 2012

Snow on the summits of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa will likely last into next week, National Weather Service forecasters predict.

Several inches of snow have fallen since Saturday. Webcameras atop both summits show a blanket of snow on the ground.

“It’s winter time,” said Derek Wroe, a forecaster with the National Weather Service. “Temperatures are colder than normal, but not unusual for this time of year.”

The weather service lifted winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories Wednesday morning. 

Park rangers opened the road to the summit of Mauna Kea after ice that accumulated overnight melted.

Wroe noted that fog and below-freezing conditions could return later today.

A weather system that brought the snow to the mountain tops has moved away and weakened. But is still bringing temperatures in the 20s at night and near freezing during the day at the summits.

Another weather system in the upper atmosphere is moving in from the west. That system may bring rain to Kauai and Oahu starting Friday and will likely keep temperatures on the mountain tops below or near freezing into next week, Wroe said.

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