A rare blizzard warning has been issued for the Big Island of Hawaii, with a large amount of snow anticipated.
The National Weather Service issued an “urgent” warning Friday ahead of a huge storm hitting the state, which generally has a tropical climate.
“Blizzard warning for the Big Island summits,” reads the weather advisory. “Travel could be very difficult to impossible. Blowing snow will significantly reduce visibility at times, with periods of zero visibility.”
The warning is in place from 6 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Sunday local time. A high-wind warning has also been put into effect.
Winds are anticipated to gust over 100 mph, and total snow accumulations may be up to a full foot “or more.” Additionally, the strong winds “will likely cause significant drifting of snow.”
As a result, the Weather Service advises that travel should be restricted to emergencies. “If you must travel, have a winter survival kit with you. If you get stranded, stay with your vehicle,” it further warns.
The storm follows an “abnormally dry” period for much of the 50th state, parts of which have recently experienced “severe to extreme drought,” AccuWeather reported. While the capital of Honolulu generally receives 2.25 inches of rain in November, this year it got just 0.09 inches. So far this month, it has received “just a trace of rain.”
With the incoming storm, a potential 6 to 12 inches of rain can fall on Honolulu, and up to 40 inches are considered possible in the south- and southwest-facing mountainsides of the islands.
Flood watches have been issued for “all of the islands” of Hawaii. They will likely remain in place till Monday, the outlet added.
The last time a blizzard warning was issued for the state was in spring 2018.
“Although Hawaii has the reputation of year-round warmth, snow actually makes a yearly appearance atop some of its highest peaks,” said AccuWeather meteorologist Lauren Hyde.
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