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Isolated Thunderstorm Dumps Snow, Hail Over Maunakea’s Mid-Level

May 25, 2021, 9:20 AM HST
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An isolated severe thunderstorm dumped snow and one-fourth-inch sized hail over the 9,000-foot mid-level section of Maunakea on Saturday, May 22.

The area, known as Halepōhaku, is a facility frequented by those visiting Maunakea. No damage or injuries were reported but the Maunakea Rangers from the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Center for Maunakea Stewardship (CMS) want to remind visitors that dangerous wintry weather can break out with little warning at any time.

According to forecasters at the Mauna Kea Weather Center, it is rare for widespread snow to reach the mid-level area of the mountain and for the summit to remain bare.

The ranger program was established in 2000 to inform visitors about the cultural, natural and scientific significance of the mauna. They provide daily oversight of activities on UH-managed lands to protect resources and provide public safety.

For more information on UH’s commitment to stewardship on Maunakea, go to the CMS website.

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