Rare snow and ice conditions at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Center for Maunakea Stewardship (CMS) mid-level facility led to the closure of the Maunakea Access Road on February 28. Hale Pohakū, the CMS mid-level facility and the Maunakea Visitor Station is at the 9,300 foot elevation of Maunakea. The last time it snowed there was February 2020.
“Over the past few days we have had a good amount of rain coming into Hilo and combined with the cold temperatures from the recent cold front, we got a beautiful dusting of snow this morning,” said Nahua Guilloz, Director of Stewardship Programs at CMS.
Temperatures on the summit at 13,803 feet above sea level dropped to 15 degrees Fahrenheit. Visitors to Maunakea are encouraged to always check the status of Maunakea Access Road online before heading to the mauna. The summit of Maunakea can be dangerous as weather can change rapidly, resulting in severe conditions including freezing temperatures, blizzards and high winds.
Be safe and respectful
Everyone is encouraged to act in a safe and responsible manner while on Maunakea and be respectful of the fact that Maunakea is one the most revered places in Hawaiʻi.