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Yes, it snows in Hawaii.
Matthew Foster is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Honolulu. He said he has had to explain the snow to some surprised out-of-state callers.
"Typically when we get these snow events, it does get a lot of attention," he said. When it happens, he explains to curious callers that the snow is falling. It comes down in a small, remote area where there are mainly telescopes and scientists. "We do have very high mountains here."
Once they realize the heights of the mountains, snow in the island state makes a little more sense, said Ryan Lyman. He is a forecast meteorologist with the Mauna Kea Weather Center. Mauna Kea is nearly 14,000 feet above sea level.
The weather service has said snow has been falling recently on the state's Big Island.
Lyman said there has been 30 to 36 inches in recent winters.
The new snow has shut down operations on Mauna Kea, Lyman said. The mountain's access road is expected to remain closed for days, he said.
The weather service doesn't keep track of what the record amounts of snowfall are on the summits. Heavy snow is often accompanied by wind. That creates drifts. They make it difficult to accurately measure snowfall, Lyman said.
Abundant snow on Mauna Loa's 13,677-foot summit could be seen at sunset Dec. 1 from parts of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, said park spokeswoman Jessica Ferracane.
CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
How can it snow it Hawaii?
Write your answers in the comments section below