Mon. 8:46 am: Strong storm brings damage - and snow

Tourists and locals enjoy the Waikiki beach in Honolulu Hawaii on Aug. 22 2018

Tourists and locals enjoy the Waikiki beach in Honolulu Hawaii on Aug. 22 2018. Kat Wade—Getty Images

Late Sunday, a 191-MPH wind gust was recorded on the summit of Mauna Kea.

Snow covered Polipoli as a part of a storm that battered the islands over the weekend with strong winds, powerful surf and relatively low temperatures for the subtropical state.

The National Weather Service in Honolulu has called the snow event "very unusual", after several inches fell on Haleakalā, a volcano in East Maui. It could also be the lowest elevation snow ever recorded in the state'.

Hawaii saw a mixed bag of freakish precipitation over the weekend as well.

Almost every winter, the rest of the continental United States is surprised by headlines announcing that snow has graced the summits of Hawaii's tallest peaks.

The snow has been brought to Hawaii by a chunk of cold, low-pressure air separated from the main flow, known as a Kona Low.

At Kapiolani Park in Honolulu, strong winds uprooted kiawe trees said to be almost a century old, according to KNHL. "Polipoli State Park on Maui is blanketed with snow".

According to the state's Department of Land and Natural Resources, this was perhaps the closest to sea level that snow has fallen in Hawaii. 'We tend to get a gust maybe to 150mph once a winter or so, but never 191mph'.

The visitor station on the 13,308 foot mountain is closed until Tuesday "due to the predicted continuation of severe weather, " according to the station's website. A high wind warning remained in effect until 6 p.m. local for the Big Island summits of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, where gusts still were expected to top 140 miles per hour before tapering down. The road is shut down whenever visibility drops below 50 feet, or winds gust to 65 miles per hour or greater. Another rarity produced by this storm system was a severe thunderstorm warning, which was issued for the island of Kauai. The community resides on the south side of the island, protected from the harshest conditions streaming in out of the northeast. That's down from a peak of almost 27,000.

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