Hawaii is often thought of as a tropical paradise where sun-kissed beaches, pristine waters, and lush green landscapes are the norm. However, the Aloha State has a lesser-known winter wonderland that's as unique as it is magical.
While the coastal regions of the islands can experience colder temperatures and less rain, snow is a rare occurrence. Typically, it only occurs on the highest mountains that are above 11,000 feet in elevation.
Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa on the Big Island, and Haleakala on Maui are the 3 volcanoes that see the most snow in Hawaii. These three peaks reach heights of 13,803 feet, 10,023 feet, and 11,497 feet, respectively.
These peaks see snowfall between December and February, but it usually dissipates within a day or two after the storm.
The snowfall is often attributed to a phenomenon called 'Kona Low,' a Polynesian term that refers to the change in wind direction Hawaii experiences each year.
This is a very interesting thing to watch!
While the Kona Low is rare, it does happen. In fact, a 'Kona Low' has been known to blanket the peaks of Mauna Kea and Mauna loa with snow each year between December and February.
When it snows on the summit of these volcanoes, visitors can experience breathtaking sunrises and sunsets, amazing stargazing, and challenging hikes. But remember that the weather can be unpredictable on these high mountain peaks, so it's best to plan your trip carefully.