Hawaii Blizzard Warning: Up to a Foot of Snow Projected at Mauna Loa, Mauna Kea

January 2, 2015 Updated: July 18, 2015

Around a foot of snow is expected to drop on the island of Hawaii on January 2, the National Weather Service said in a Blizzard Warning.

The blizzard is expeced to start at about 6 p.m. and last for up to 24 hours.

Snow is projected to drop at elevations above 11,000 feet.

The hazards include “heavy snow squalls, extremely strong winds with severe blowing and drifting snow, and possible thunderstorms with lightning strikes,” according to the service.

Snow accumulations of around a foot–with much higher drifts– are projected.

The service warned that the blizzard will present “life threatening conditions for anyone attempting to travel to the summits.”

It also noted that in addition to the snow, winds of up to 90 miles per hour and gusts of up to and even over 120 miles per hour are expected.

The temperatures could very well drop into the lower 20s Fahrenheit.

Visibility will drop to “near zero at times in whiteout conditions,” the agency said. 

It recommends that people not travel to the summits. 

Meanwhile, the service issued a wind advisory for Oahu and Kauai counties until 6 a.m. Saturday, in addition to similar advisories for Maui County and the Big Island. Southwest winds with gusts of over 50 miles per hour are possible.

“Winds this strong can bring down tree branches and make driving difficult, especially for high-profile vehicles,” forecasters said. “The most likely time for adverse weather to occur will be this afternoon into early this evening across Kauai, this evening into the overnight across Oahu and Maui County and late tonight into Saturday morning across the Big Island.”

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