It’s Impossible To Forget The Year Hawaii Saw Its Single Largest Snowfall Ever

No one really expects to see snow in Hawaii, do they? After all, many people travel to the beautiful Aloha State in an attempt to escape cold weather and snow. But snow is exactly what you’ll find if you head to the summit of Hawaii’s tallest mountains, Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, and Mount Haleakala. Now, obviously, these mountain peaks aren’t always covered in snow, and the conditions have to be just right, but it’s impossible to forget the year Hawaii saw its single largest snowfall ever.

For up to date weather conditions on the summit, check out Mauna Kea’s live streaming weather cams. Mauna Kea is a truly majestic and breathtaking piece of Hawaii. It’s worth a visit – no matter what time of year it is!

The OIYS Visitor Center

Snow in Hawaii

July 20, 2022

Has it ever snowed in Hawaii?  

It absolutely has and does! Of course, you won’t find any of the fluffy frozen white stuff in the lowlands and valleys; no, snowstorms are only reserved for the highest of peaks on Big Island and Maui. During winter, there are actually pretty frequent snowstorms that occur on the peaks above 11,000 feet in elevation, and there have even been blizzard warnings issued in Hawaii (one of which made headline news in recent years).  

When was the largest Mauna Kea snowfall ever?  

The largest Mauna Kea snowfall ever occurred in December 2016, when more than two feet of snow blanketed the peaks and stunned residents who are typically used to a lighter dusting than that. Prior to that, the record was set on April 6th, 1938, when Hawaii saw a whopping six inches of snow on Mount Haleakala. Little did they know that this record would eventually be beaten – by nearly five times as much!  

What is Hawaii weather typically like?  

Let’s first take a moment to define the differences between “weather” and “climate”; the weather is right now. What’s the weather like outside? Go out and look. Climate, however, is the weather of a place over time – so, basically, the kind of weather you’ll expect if you visit. So, that being said, what’s the climate of Hawaii like? Hawaii is noted for its relatively mild year-round temperatures, with moderate humidity and frequent rain, especially in the rainforest regions. Severe weather is remarkably infrequent, and you’ll get about 25 to 30 inches of rain per year. Hawaii typically sees about 166 rainy days per year, which is nearly half of the 365 days in a year. It’s a beautiful place, though, thanks to this life-giving rain, as well as the nutrient-rich volcanic soils and consistent sources of water.