As of Friday, only two states in the U.S. had blizzard warnings: Alaska and Hawaii.
The National Weather Service is forecasting up to a foot of snow with winds gusting up to 100 mph through the weekend for the Big Island summits.
It’s the first blizzard warning in more than 3½ years issued by the agency’s Honolulu office, according to the Iowa mesonet data site.
The peaks Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, both at more than 13,000 feet above sea level, are the only two locations that see snow annually in Hawaii.Temperatures regularly drop below freezing on the summits from November to March.
The summit on Mauna Loa was temporarily closed on Tuesday night due to high winds and winter weather conditions, according to the National Park Service.
Mauna Kea was also capped in snow, earlier this week. The Mauna Kea Weather Center has several live camera feeds you can access to see if the summit is covered in snow.
The summit on Haleakala in Maui, which tops out at over 10,000 feet, can also see some occasional snow, usually only once every 2 to 3 years, according to the Weather Prediction Center (WPC).
Even though the Big Island of Hawaii will get snow, the vast majority of the state will see rain, a lot of rain. A flood watch is in place for most of the rest of the state.
“Heavy rainfall will be a threat and shower bands may line up over portions of the state for extended periods of time, increasing the threat for flooding,” the NWS office in Honolulu said Friday.
Snow may be plentiful for Alaska and Hawaii, but it is in short supply across the contiguous US. Outside of the fake snow created by ski resorts through November, you may be hard pressed to find snow, even in some usually white locations. In fact, more snow has fallen in Hawaii this season than in Denver, Colorado.
“It’s been 224 consecutive days (and counting) since it snowed a measurable amount in Denver, and it has just broken the record for the latest date for a first snowfall — a record that has held since snowfall records began in 1882,” says Derek Van Dam, CNN meteorologist.
Denver isn’t alone. The vast majority of the lower 48 states recorded below-average snowfall last month.
That could be changing for some areas this weekend though as the potential for snow returns for the Midwest on Sunday.
A developing area of low pressure over Montana this weekend combined with an arctic air mass located on the northern side of the US-Canada border will provide the necessary ingredients for a moderate snowstorm event.