Maunakea Rangers from the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Center for Maunakea Stewardship (CMS) are urging the public to exercise caution after an isolated severe thunderstorm dumped snow and ¼-inch sized hail over the 9,000-foot mid-level section of the mauna on Saturday, May 22. According to forecasters at the Mauna Kea Weather Center, it is rare for widespread snow to reach the mid-level area of the mountain and for the summit to remain bare.
The area, known as Halepōhaku, is a facility frequented by those visiting Maunakea. No damage or injuries were reported but the rangers want to remind visitors that dangerous wintry weather can break out with little warning at any time.
- Related UH News story: Hawaiʻi Island residents urged to exercise caution on Maunakea summit, February 3, 2021
CMS rangers conducted their daily patrol and assessed the area. The ranger program was established in 2000 to inform visitors about the cultural, natural and scientific significance of the mauna. They provide daily oversight of activities on UH managed lands to protect resources and provide public safety.
For more information on UH’s commitment to stewardship on Maunakea, go to the CMS website.