After the polar vortex chilled the Midwest last month, a major snowstorm is burying the Northeast.
But another surprising part of the country is also experiencing historically bad weather this week: Hawaii.
Over the weekend, the chain of islands dealt with strong winds, surging waves, and even snow at the state’s Polipoli Spring recreation area on Maui (probably for the first time in the park’s history). Some of you may not know but it's pretty common for it to snow every winter on the Big Island of Hawaii. Maui on the other hand is a freak rarity.
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Snow in our State Park? ⛄️❄️ Now that’s a first! . Polipoli Spring State Recreation Area on Maui was blanketed in snow this weekend during a powerful winter storm. At 6,200 feet, this may be the lowest elevation at which snow has been recorded in Hawai’i. . Video: Polipoli Spring State Recreation Area; mahalo Kimberly Espania. . #doyouwannabuildasnowman #winterstorm #polipoli #polipolistatepark #maui #snow #hawaiistateparks #optoutside #hawaiidlnr
While snow sometimes falls on Hawaii’s mountaintops on the Big Island (Hawai'i), Polipoli has an elevation of just 6,200 feet, so the chilly weather and four-foot snow drifts were truly unusual.
Weather experts blamed the sudden cold snap on Arctic air pulled south by the jet stream. The same weather pattern brought unusually warm weather to Alaska.
Hawaiians made the most of the historic snowstorm, with some driving for an hour or more to visit regions with fresh powder.
But of course, it could not last long, and by Monday afternoon much of the snow had turned to slush.
Hawaii was not the only warm state to see fresh snow, as parts of Humboldt County, California saw their first snowflakes in more than 15 years during the same period.
Along with the picturesque snow, Hawaii’s coasts were pounded by waves as high as 60 feet on Monday.
To find a similar record of low-lying snow on the islands, you have to dig back to 1952, when another snowstorm on Maui brought flakes to Mount Haleakala (which stands at 7,500 feet).
While the tropical snowstorm was beautiful, 190-mile-an-hour wind gusts made conditions dangerous, and at least one person’s death has been linked to the storm.
[H/T: the Weather Network]