Written by By Nidhi Verma , CNN Hawaii, USA
February is already proving to be Hawaii’s snowiest month on record. This week the latest storm in a string of winter extremes over the past three months will dump snow on parts of the archipelago , forecasters say.
The Hawaiian island of Maui is expected to get 5 to 10 inches of snow, according to the National Weather Service. This places the island in “the top 10 snowiest regions in the state,” according to the weather service. Snow accumulation of up to 6 inches is expected in Kauai and on Oahu, the state’s largest island, by Wednesday night.
These snowfalls are common during the winter months, but the amount of snow falling in these parts this year is extraordinary. The main snow cell is expected to bring snow in the Hilo and Kauai areas, the weather service said, which should come as welcome relief to residents hit by the state’s third snowstorm in just four days.
“As an island paradise our residents will unfortunately get spoiled,” Lt. Malia Kearney, public information officer with the US Coast Guard, said.
A weather station in Kauai’s Princeville community reported a minimum reading of 3 inches of snow Friday morning, according to the Coast Guard.
“Approximately two dozen US Coast Guard personnel are assisting residents on Kauai to clear roads. The wave of energy that will hit the area may lead to more localized winter-like conditions over the next few days,” said Lt. Isaac Labberley, commanding officer of the Coast Guard station on Kauai.
Kauai schools were closed Friday as officials worked to clear potholes.
The weather service said the snow is expected to move through Hawaii’s far south sometime overnight on Friday, “bringing isolated showers and additional accumulations of snow over low elevations.”
“Our warnings continue until morning,” said Joseph Brawner, meteorologist at the weather service in Honolulu. “When we have snow like this, anytime and anywhere it’s going to impact the public, we want to make sure we are prepared for it.”
Weather advisories have been issued across Hawaii, including for Maui, Kauai, the Big Island, Oahu, the island of Lanai, Molokai and the island of Lanai.
“Travel will become hazardous due to the heavy snowfall, which could make for difficult travel and hazardous/blizzard conditions if traveling on untreated highways and on mountain passes,” the weather service said in a statement.
The February blizzard that fell in Honolulu was the first time in 18 years that the city suffered a foot of snow, said Bill Patzert, a climatologist with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
Maui, known for white beaches, looked half empty Saturday due to the storm. Many opted to stay indoors.
“It’s beautiful and really pretty cold,” Devin Riddle, 28, told CNN. “It’s just nice to have it snow out.”
Hawaii is currently under a blizzard warning until early Sunday morning, meaning heavy snow and gusty winds will cause hazardous travel and high avalanche potential.
The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service office in Honolulu recorded 1.3 inches of snow in Honolulu on Friday morning.