Hawaii’s Big Island is under both a Winter Weather Advisory and an Ashfall Advisory.
For people not familiar with Hawaii, it’s the winter weather advisory that may cause you to do a double-take. But, winter weather is more common than you would think in the Aloha State. It’s the ashfall advisory that is actually more troublesome for residents there.
Still, it is one of the more diverse sets of warnings you’ll ever see issued by the National Weather Service anywhere in the United States.
The advisory was issued early on Monday, Hawaii Standard Time. The cause was an eruption from the Mauna Loa volcano. Earthquakes proceeded the eruption, which was then followed by lava flows. The lava flows thankfully stayed contained to the summit area, while ash did affect a larger area on the Big Island. The National Weather Service called for a trace to a quarter of an inch of ash accumulation this morning. The volcano last erupted in 1984 and it’s unknown if more hazards produced by Mauna Loa are ahead. Scientists are keeping a close watch.
Winter Weather Advisory:
Meantime, on that same summit of Mauna Loa, which is nearly 13,700 feet tall, it’s just cold enough to see some snow or freezing fog, as moisture streams overhead. The winter weather advisory is for summits above 12,500 feet. That would include Mauna Loa and Haleakala, as well. The wintry weather only affects a very small portion of the island, while most everyone else is seeing the typical tropical-like weather that most people associate with Hawaii (highs near 80 or so). Wintry weather on the Big Island of Hawaii is quite common in the wintertime, but is relegated to the relatively small summits. The snow level never drops below 9,000 feet.
Flash Flood Watch:
To top it all off, heavy rain is forecast to fall over many of the Hawaiian islands this afternoon. The heavy rain is causing some flooding issues in low-lying areas.
It most definitely is a busy day for our most western state and forecasters there have their hands full.