The access road to Mauna Kea, one of the Big Island‘s biggest volcanoes, was closed Sunday due to hazardous road conditions caused by a mix of rain and snow, and freezing temperatures.
In a message posted on Sunday morning, rangers said “It’s snowing and lightning at the Visitor Information Station and snow is accumulating on the summit road.”
The National Weather Service in Honolulu had issued a winter storm warning that was in effect until 6a.m. on February 20th. A winter storm warning is not one you would expect to hear in Hawaii, but one that isn’t as uncommon as you might initially think; due to the high elevations of Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea wintery conditions can happen any time of year.
According to the National Weather Service, “A winter storm warning means significant amounts of snow, sleet and ice are expected or occurring. Strong winds are also possible. This will make travel very hazardous or impossible.”