Published: Fri, February 15, 2019
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Strong storm brings damage - and snow - to Hawaii

Strong storm brings damage - and snow - to Hawaii

Almost every winter, the rest of the continental United States is surprised by headlines announcing that snow has graced the summits of Hawaii's tallest peaks.

Snow is not unheard of in mountainous parts of the tropical island chain, but officials say the coating at 6,200 feet (1,900 meters) at the state park on Maui could mark the lowest-elevation snowfall ever recorded in the state. "Polipoli is at 6,200 feet elevation", the DLNR statement said.

The Honolulu-based national weather service spoke of a "historic" storm.

The risky winds that began on Sunday have reportedly toppled over centuries-old trees, reported Hawaii News Now.

Endo said he wanted his kids to 'see something that's very unusual in Hawaii'.

Even more snow is expected for the islands on Wednesday and Thursday, USA Today reported, but only on its highest peaks, including Maui's Haleakala and the Big Island's Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa - where 3 to 5 inches are expected.

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At Kapiolani Park in Honolulu, strong winds uprooted kiawe trees said to be almost a century old, according to KNHL.

The DLNR's State Parks office "reports that perhaps for the first time ever, snow has fallen in a Hawai'i State Park", officials said on Facebook. The previous record low was 12 degrees, also measured on Mauna Kea back in 1979, though there's some controversy over whether that decades-old reading was accurate. Maui's Polipoli State Park received a coating of snow, something that could be a first for the island. The road is shut down whenever visibility drops below 50 feet, or winds gust to 65 miles per hour or greater. Another rarity produced by this storm system was a severe thunderstorm warning, which was issued for the island of Kauai.

Wave heights approached 40 feet just north of the island on Sunday.

Snow came to Polipoli amid a winter storm that hit other parts of the state, bringing low temperatures, snow, winds and powerful surf.

A downed powerline is pictured in Maui.

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