"For perhaps the first time ever, snow has fallen in a Hawai'i State Park," the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources said in a Facebook post

By Jen Juneau
February 12, 2019 12:41 PM
Endo Lance

Despite Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction for an early spring, winter isn’t letting go of its hold just yet — in fact, it’s setting records … in Hawaii.

A major winter storm that began rolling in over the weekend has forced many state parks across the islands to close, the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources reported in a Facebook post on Sunday.

Notably, the DLNR wrote, “For perhaps the first time ever, snow has fallen in a Hawaii State Park,” explaining that Polipoli State Park on the island of Maui is “blanketed with snow.”

“It could also be the lowest elevation snow ever recorded in the state,” the post continued. “Polipoli is at 6,200 feet elevation.”


Video footage taken by Kimberly Espania of Reel News Hawaii showed a road in the park covered with snow, which also blanketed the trees surrounding the path.

The weather phenomenon has caused a stir among residents and celebrities, alike. Wrote Bette Midler on Twitter, “Oh, my God. Snow has fallen on #Maui for the first time in history.”

While the island has seen snow before, it’s a rarity. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports that the volcano Haleakala — which saw “six inches to a foot of snow” fall at its summit over the weekend, according to meteorologist Matt Foster of the National Weather Service — also had snow in 1952, but at 7,500 feet.

The information came from a 1962 issue of Weatherwise, which Alaska-based climatologist Brian Brettschneider tweeted on Monday.

RELATED VIDEO: First Big Storm of 2019 Could Drop 40 Inches of Snow on Northeast, Inch of Ice in Mid-Atlantic

High winds have been affecting the entire state. According to CNN, the National Weather Service in Honolulu issued a wind advisory in effect until 5 p.m. EST, which means “sustained winds of at least 30 miles per hour or gusts of at least 50 mph are expected” and “motorists should use extra caution.”

The winds — up to almost 200 mph at Hawaii County’s Mauna Kea Summit — have led to fallen and uprooted trees in locations like Kokee-Waimea Canyon State Park on Kauai, as well as dislodged boats and portable toilets blowing over elsewhere, the Hawaii DLNR reported.

“All of the emergency management agencies and the National Weather Service did a great job coordinating efforts, forewarning people, and from our observations folks are paying attention,” their Facebook post concluded of the “unprecedented event” in Hawaii.