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Does It Snow in Hawaii? (A Complete Guide)

Does It Snow in Hawaii

One of the most common questions people ask when they think about Hawaii is “Does it snow in Hawaii?” The answer to that question is not a simple one. It does not snow often, but it can happen.

I’ll tell you all about what happens when there is snow in the islands.”

A Brief History of Hawaii

Hawaii: Location

Hawaii is located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. It is made up of eight major islands, six smaller ones and many little atolls that are all surrounded by miles of deep blue ocean water.

The Big Island is where most people go to find snow. This island has a unique geographical make-up because it sits on top of a hot spot in the ocean. Because of this, there are several volcanoes on The Big Island that can erupt at any time.

Hawaii: Population

Hawaii has a population of 1.416 million (2019) people, which means it’s a fairly small place. It has more visitors than residents most times throughout the year because there are so many tourists that flock to this island paradise all year long.

Hawaii: Weather

The weather in Hawaii is typically warm and sunny. There are trade winds that blow through most of the year, bringing clouds, rain and strong gusts of wind at times with them.

Snowfall happens when a cold front moves into an area that has high temperatures near or above 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 Celsius). This is the case in Hawaii during the winter months when cold fronts come through.

When you add high humidity into this situation, it can cause rain to fall as snow on top of a mountain or volcano where temperatures are colder than 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 Celsius). This usually happens at elevations above 11,000 feet. The Big Island’s Mauna Kea is about 13,796 feet tall.

When does it snow in Hawaii?

It’s not too common for it to snow in Hawaii. It happens a few times each decade on average, and the last time was on April 30th, 2016 at Mauna Kea Observatory.”

“It doesn’t snow in Hawaii very often, but it’s pretty when it does happen. You can read more about what happened last time there was significant snowfall in the islands here.”

What are the Snowy Mountains in Hawaii?

There are many mountains in Hawaii that are covered with snow when it snows.

Mauna Kea

The Big Island’s Mauna Kea is the tallest mountain in all of Hawaii. It’s also snowy sometimes, but it doesn’t snow very often.

  • There are no official measurements for how much snow falls at one time on top of the summit area of Mauna Kea. It usually snows for several hours and then melts as the sun comes out.
  • Snow on Mauna Kea is very rare, but it does happen every once in a while. The last time that there was significant snowfall on top of this mountain was April 30th, 2016 when about an inch fell at its summit area.

The summit area of Mauna Kea is at 13,796 feet above sea level. It’s the highest point on Earth that you can reach without using a helicopter or other aircraft.


The sun shines bright over the beautiful island of Maui. There, you’ll find a 10 thousand foot mountain that has not erupted in 400 years- Haleakala! With this name meaning ‘house of the sun,’ tourists flock from all around to witness sunrise and sunset on one OF THE most popular spots for travelers – especially photographers looking for amazing shots.

As if being by Hawaii’s lowest volcano wasn’tenough reason alone (it receives less snow than Mauna Loa or even Monsakea), there is also an easy trail up near its peak where visitors can see some stunning views without having too much difficulty getting acclimated.

Mauna Loa

Mauna Loa is the largest snow mountain in Hawaii and as such, it has been a popular destination for those seeking to enjoy nature’s beauty. It measures 75 miles long from base-to- summit with 64 square miles of land coverage at just under 13 600 feet above sea level making up nearly half of all islands terrain

The active volcano known formally as “Long Mountain” isn’t dormant after its last eruptions which took place back in 1984 according to news reports released early 2021 by State officials The main tourism center located near Kailua -Kona is known for its stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and is often referred to as one of the best places on Earth.

Does It Snow in Hawaii

Snow can be found on numerous islands in Hawaii too.

Only the three volcanic mountains in Hawaii get snow and it melts away quickly. One exception is when there has been a recent storm, which transforms some summer destinations into not-so perfect scenes for vacationers who are looking forward to enjoying warm weather without having their plans ruined by heavy rain or cold winds that chills everything down far too much.


The island of Oahu is the third largest and most populated in Hawaii. The mountain range that runs through its center brings rain to the north side, which makes it perfect for growing crops. When there has been a very recent storm or if snow begins falling unexpectedly on top of these mountains, then travelers should be ready to witness some icy scenes. The National Weather Service of Honolulu recorded waves up to 60-feet high

Polipoli State Park

The park is now an enchanting winter wonderland. The trees are decorated with lights and any hiker will be pleased to discover that there’s enough space for everyone in this 10 acre section of Kula Forest Reserve which sits at 6200-feet elevation!


The strong winds did a number on some of our trees, leaving them broken and uprooted.

Wailua Homesteads

A few miles from the Pacific Ocean, they didn’t experience snow but only had to put up with gale-force winds that danced among trees.

Some Related Snow Facts in Hawaii

What Is the Record-breaking Snow in Hawaii?

The record for snow in Hawaii was set on Mauna Kea, where people have seen up to three feet of the white stuff.

What Is the Record-breaking Rainfall in Hawaii?

The record for rainfall in Hawaii is held by Wailuku River, which experienced over 52 inches of rain within 24 hours.

Do locals enjoy winter sports like snowboarding at all?

Although there is no official place for this activity in Hawaii, some people who have tried it in other places have brought their snowboards with them and tried to find a suitable place for it.

Does Hawaii Get Enough Rain & Wind for This Activity?

No, the island is not very weather-friendly at all! This means that if you want to take your chances by bringing equipment with you just in case there’s an opportunity to use them, then you will quickly discover that there’s no place for it.

What Are Some Things You Can Do to Prepare for a Snow Storm if It Happens to Hit Hawaii?

According to the National Weather Service, you should make sure your trunk is fully stocked with emergency supplies like water and blankets.

Where Can I Go if It Snows in Honolulu?

Polipoli State Park has been known to get a flurry of snow on its peaks during winter months! The park’s elevation means that visitors will be treated to a beautiful winter wonderland.

How Much Snow Falls in Honolulu, HI?

According to the National Weather Service, it can be found on some Hawaiian mountains during winter months and Polipoli State Park has been known to get a flurry of snow on its peaks during winter months! The park’s elevation means that visitors will be treated to a beautiful winter wonderland.

How to Get There?

If you’re traveling from the South Shore, take Highway 11 through Waimea and up Mauna Kea. If you’re coming from the North Shore, take Saddle Road towards Kekaha until it becomes Highway 19 at Naalehu.

Is It Safe to Visit Polipoli State Park During a Snow Storm?

The park is now an enchanting winter wonderland. The trees are decorated with lights and any hiker will be pleased to discover that there’s enough space for everyone in this ten acre section of Kula Forest Reserve which sits at 6250 feet elevation!

Does It Snow in Hawaii

Final Thoughts

Snow is a rare sight in Hawaii. Even when it does happen, the weather can quickly change and turn any snowfall into rainfall or sunshine within only a few hours’ time – depending on what part of the island you’re visiting.

Hawaii is a tropical paradise that people dream of visiting for its beautiful beaches, welcoming culture, and warm weather. It’s not just the average person who dreams of this wonderful island; some people are so obsessed with it they even make plans to move there! But does it snow in Hawaii? The answer may surprise you.

If you’re curious about whether or not Hawaiians get any white Christmas magic while living on an island surrounded by water year-round, read on to find out more about what climate experts have to say about possible snowfall in Honolulu.

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