Hawaii has been hit by an “unprecedented” weather system which brought powerful gusts and snow storms. The island state faced widespread power outages and waves as high as 40-feet as it battered Hawaii on Monday. The freak low-pressure weather system was described as “historic” with winds equivalent to the speed of a category 4 major hurricane.
In the footage, snow blankets parts of the island causing distortion for road users.
Sam Lemmo, administrator of Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) said forecasters “are calling this an unprecedented event and we concur that we rarely if ever have seen the combination of record high onshore waves, coupled with gale force winds.”
The dangerous wind speeds of up to 191mph were recorded on the Big Island’s towering peak of the dormant volcano of Mauna Kea at 4.40pm local time on Sunday.
Jon Jelsema, senior forecaster at the Weather Service office in Honolulu said: “That’s the strongest wind gust I’ve ever seen up there.
“We tend to get a gust maybe to 150 mph once a winter or so, but never 191 mph.”
Several inches of snow fell on Haleakalā, a shield volcano in East Maui.
Snow is common on the high peaks of the Big Island in places such as Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa.
But, the Department of Land and Natural Resources, claimed on their Facebook page that the storm even brought snow to Maui’s Polipoli State Park at an elevation of 6,200 feet.
The statement read: “Perhaps the first time ever, snow has fallen in a Hawai‘i State Park.
“Polipoli State Park on Maui is blanketed with snow. It could also be the lowest elevation snow ever recorded in the state.”
In the early hours of Monday morning, National Weather Service Honolulu said: “A historic low-pressure system impacting #Hawaii with strong gusty winds, rain squalls and high surf will slowly drift NE of the state over the next 2 days. Strong winds will continue overnight. Stay safe tonight.”