This is kinda cool. This is kinda frustrating. While the West Coast flounders in ski area closing snowlessness, Hawaii is expecting 5-8″ of snow this week.
Yes, people ski in Hawaii. The Big Island’s highest peak, Mauna Kea (translates to White Mountain), is the largest mountain in the world. Mauna Kea starts at -19,000-feet below sea level and rises to 13,796-feet above sea level giving it a vertical relief of about 33,000-feet – around 4,000-feet taller than Mt. Everest.
Skiing Mauna Kea is very real. The Mauna Kea Ski Corporation rents skis and snowboards for $50/day. They claim that 2,500 to 4,500-vertical-foot runs are a very real possibility. These guys can also arrange shuttles to pick you up and drop you off at the top to maximize vertical.
This forecast is calling for 5-8″ of snow above 11,500-feet in Hawaii this week. That means you could potentially ski around 2,000-vertical-feet right now if conditions permit.
NOAA’s Hawaiian Winter Storm Watch:
…WINTER STORM WATCH FOR BIG ISLAND SUMMITS ABOVE 11500 FEET TUESDAY NIGHT THROUGH THURSDAY…
.A TROUGH ALOFT OVER HAWAII WILL CONTINUE TO BRING LIGHT SNOW AND ICE ACCUMULATIONS OVER THE BIG ISLAND SUMMITS TONIGHT. THEASSOCIATED BAND OF LAYERED CLOUDS WILL TRANSITION TO CIRRUS CLOUDS EARLY TUESDAY. ANOTHER TROUGH WILL DIG IN FROM THE WEST AND LIKELYPRODUCE WINTRY WEATHER TUESDAY NIGHT THROUGH THURSDAY ABOVE THE11500 FEET ELEVATION. WINDS ALSO WILL BE VERY STRONG AT THE BIGISLAND SUMMITS THOUGH THURSDAY.
* LOCATIONS…BIG ISLAND SUMMITS ABOVE 12500 FEET…DROPPING TO11500 FEET TUESDAY NIGHT.
* HAZARD TYPES…SNOW…ICE ACCUMULATION…AND FREEZING FOG.
* ACCUMULATIONS…HALF INCH OF SNOW AND ICE ACCUMULATION EXPECTEDTONIGHT. AN ADDITIONAL 5 TO 8 INCHES OF SNOW AND ICE POSSIBLEFROM TUESDAY NIGHT THROUGH THURSDAY.
* TIMING…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY RUNS THROUGH TONIGHT. WINTERSTORM WATCH FROM TUESDAY NIGHT THROUGH THURSDAY.
* IMPACTS…TRAVEL TO THE SUMMITS…EITHER ON FOOT OR BYVEHICLE…MAY BE DANGEROUS AND IS NOT RECOMMENDED.
* WINDS…WEST 45 TO 65 MPH WITH LOCALIZED GUSTS OVER 80 MPH.
* TEMPERATURES…MID 20S AT NIGHT TO LOWER 30S DURING THE DAY.
* VISIBILITY…UNDER A HALF MILE IN FREEZING FOG.