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Winter Storms in Hawaii

12-12-2019

By Sarah Bernstein, Expedition Guide on the Safari Explorer

It has been a fun and exciting week here in the Hawaiian Island Archipelago. Even through the changing weather we have been doing all the fun things, and even had the opportunity to explore new areas of the Big Island.

Life onboard and at sea has been fun and exciting, watching the Brown Boobies soar in the wind and waves crash against the rocky lava shorelines of the Big Islands. Usually our crossing of the Alenuihaha Channel between the Big Island and Maui is one of the most exciting events, and with this weather you would think that was the case this week. But the crossing was actually quite mild. The most exciting part of the winter storm was seeing snow in new places.

Mauna Kea, located on the Big Island and the highest point in in the state of Hawaii, rises 13, 796 feet above the sea level. It’s not abnormal to see snow at the top this time of year. However, what we saw this week after the storm had passed was more exciting—it was a snowy peak of Haleakala on Maui.

Haleakala rises 10,023 feet from the ocean. Snow on Haleakala happens, but it is pretty rare. It snowed over six inches on the top of Haleakala –leaving a beautiful juxtaposition of turquoise blue waters and snow-covered mountains. It makes you appreciate how tall these mountains and these volcanoes rising from the sea are.

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