Winter Storm Brings Snow and 191 Mph Winds to Hawai`i

THE BIG ISLAND (Ben Caxton) — National Weather Service forecasters say this weekends winter storm that slammed Hawai’i was one for the record books. The storm’s most extreme blow was generated on the Big Island’s towering peak of Mauna Kea, where a 191-mph wind gust blasted the mountain summit at 4:40 PM Sunday afternoon. Jon Jelsema, senior forecaster at the Weather Service office in Honolulu, said that while the area routinely receives wind gusts in the 150 mph range every other winter or so, the nearly 200 mph gale was the strongest wind gust on the mountain he’s ever seen. Along with the strong winds on the Big Island, Maua`i may have seen snow at the lowest elevations ever reported in the state. Several inches of snow fell on Haleakala, a shield volcano in East Maui something Jelsema also described as “very unusual.” Maui’s Polipoli State Park at an elevation of 6,200 feet also saw a light dusting of snow according to the DLNR.

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