The Washington Post

Crazy Hawaii weather: Waikiki waterspouts and snow on the Big Island

Twin waterspouts were sighted off the coast of Waikiki beach in Oahu , Hawaii Monday on the same day that one to three inches of snow was forecast for the mountain peaks of the Big Island.

First, here’s the waterspout video (h/t

As for the snow, a winter weather advisory was issued for 1 to 3 inches on roads near the summit of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa (h/t On Weather with Paul Douglas). Webcam images today show patches of snow still on the ground at Mauna Kea observatory.

Were these two examples of extreme weather related? Absolutely. The National Weather Service described a strong upper level low pressure over the islands which produced temperatures aloft much below normal. The cold air aloft supported the snow at high elevations whereas the resulting instability at low elevations helped to spin up the waterspouts.

Jason is the Washington Post’s weather editor and Capital Weather Gang's chief meteorologist. He earned a master's degree in atmospheric science, and spent 10 years as a climate change science analyst for the U.S. government. He holds the Digital Seal of Approval from the National Weather Association.
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