Early snowfall on the big Island of Hawaii seen on satellite

Here is something you don’t see every day, a satellite image showing a sizable amount of snow cover on the big island of Hawaii.

While snowfall on the big island is nothing new, commonly seen on the mountains on Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea, (top and bottom arrows respectively in the photo) seeing snow this early in the season on the mounatins is somewhat rare.

snow-big-island-Hawaii

McIDAS images of GOES-15 (GOES-West) 6.5 µm water vapor channel data (above; click image to play animation) showed an upper-level low that moved from east to west over the Hawaiian Islands during the 13 October – 14 October 2014 period. This low forced the development of widespread showers and thunderstorms, especially over the Big Island of Hawai’i — and even produced some snowfall in the highest elevations around the summits of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. Some excerpts from Area Forecast Discussions issued by the National Weather Service at Honolulu on 13 October:

FXHW60 PHFO 131350

AFDHFO

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HONOLULU HI

400 AM HST MON OCT 13 2014

[…]

FORECAST MODELS HAVE BEEN CONSISTENTLY CALLING FOR 500 MB TEMPERATURES BETWEEN -12 AND -13C WITHIN THE CORE OF THE COMPACT UPPER LOW. THIS IS EXCEPTIONALLY COLD FOR OCTOBER

[…]

FORECAST MODELS SHOW THAT THIS FEATURE WILL HOLD AS IT MOVES OVER THE BIG ISLAND LATER TODAY INTO TONIGHT…LIKELY PRODUCING ACCUMULATING SNOW OVER THE SUMMITS ABOVE 12000 FT. AS A RESULT…A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY HAS BEEN ISSUED.

[…]

=====

FXHW60 PHFO 140152

AFDHFO

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HONOLULU HI

330 PM HST MON OCT 13 2014

[…]

THE SUMMITS OF THE BIG ISLAND HAVE BEGUN TO REPORT SNOWFALL ACCUMULATION…AND THIS WILL CONTINUE WITH A COUPLE OF INCHES POSSIBLE OVERNIGHT.

[…]

 

Source: the CIMSS Satellite Blog

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GIVEMEFREEDOM
October 16, 2014 3:57 pm

Just another artifact of global warming . . . nothing to see here, keep moving.

Mario Lento
Reply to  GIVEMEFREEDOM
October 16, 2014 7:27 pm

Didn’t they say children of Hawaii would see snow, as predicted by global warming… awh shucks they forgot to tell us they predicted this. /sarc

Janice Moore
Reply to  Mario Lento
October 16, 2014 7:40 pm

Good point, Mario, in both:
1. the sarcastic sense — as in, yeah, this is due to the tropospheric hot spot, no doubt; and
2. the literal sense — they’ll chalk this one up to “Weirding of the Weather” and preach it next Friday night at the “meeting.”

Reply to  Mario Lento
October 16, 2014 7:46 pm

Good for you, Mario. They don’t like it. But they need to hear the truth.

Mark Cooper
Reply to  GIVEMEFREEDOM
October 16, 2014 9:53 pm
Keitho
Editor
Reply to  Mark Cooper
October 18, 2014 2:57 am

Likewise in the Drakensberg of the Eastern Cape. Very unusual in mid October. They had about 8cm.
http://traveller24.news24.com/Multimedia/Brrr-Snow-leaves-Eastern-Cape-Drakensberg-and-Lesotho-wondering-about-summer-20141017

Jimbo
Reply to  GIVEMEFREEDOM
October 17, 2014 2:46 am

Here is how they might / may answer. 😉

“Snow in Hawaii is not entirely inconsistent with global warming. In fact the science says that we may sometimes possibly and might expect some occasional snow.”

Reminder: Here is what they said on snow and warmer winters. LOL.

Reply to  Jimbo
October 17, 2014 4:53 am

What happened to “our children won’t know what snow is”

Jimbo
Reply to  Jimbo
October 17, 2014 12:55 pm

It’s at the ‘what they said” link.

Auto
Reply to  GIVEMEFREEDOM
October 17, 2014 1:36 pm

Well, ‘we’ [non-Team Hockey-Stick – ‘THS’] do rather make a fuss [bit un-English to make a fuss, I know, but you get better service that way . . . .] about some of the milder cold-snaps.
If warm – CAGW; but – if cold – jut weather – per THS.
Hmmm – but if within a couple of SDs – surely just noise.
Stochastic variation.
Weather. [OK, in England, we sometimes use a sanguinary adjective . . . . ]
I’m scared of cold – the Big Cold (like the 60s, which made Khrushchev a non-person); or another LIA; or worse – but, if I may, I suggest that this is weather.
Is it unprecedented?
Has snow never fallen on Hawaii at those altitudes so early in autumn (‘fall’ for Americans – sorry!)?
If not in the satellite era [and I ask – I do not assert] then – interesting.
If not since statehood, or WW2 or first non-Melanesian colonisation (asking, not asserting), the Interesting, interesting-er and interesting-est.
Maybe there is good data below.
But until scrolling down [Yeah, you got me!] – might this just be weather?
You know – ordinary weather . . . ?
Now, I’m going to scroll down . . . .
Auto

J Cuttance
Reply to  Auto
October 17, 2014 2:10 pm

Melanesian? Try Polynesian.

Auto
Reply to  Auto
October 17, 2014 2:28 pm

J Cuttance
Thanks.
I stand corrected.
Much appreciated.
Auto

Otter (ClimateOtter on Twitter)
October 16, 2014 4:04 pm

It’s just weather.

Sweet Old Bob
October 16, 2014 4:05 pm

Mele Kalikimaka !!

Janice Moore
Reply to  Sweet Old Bob
October 16, 2014 4:50 pm

🙂
Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters — YouTube

“Mele Kalikimaka is the thing to say… ,” indeed!

Janice Moore
Reply to  Janice Moore
October 16, 2014 5:14 pm

1949… in Hawaii…… just 4 years after the national soc1l1st l1es and rac1st propaganda of the Axis powers were soundly defeated by the Allies.
Truth won!
And, dear An-tho-ny, TRUTH ABOUT HUMAN C02 WILL WIN.
Yes, truth triumphed in WWII and will have triumphed (in the Battle for Truth in Science) only at a great cost.
Nevertheless…
the fight is worth it.
Courage, all you Professor Carters, Murry Salbys, Willie Soons, Jo Novas, and An-tho-ny Watts of the world!
Before long, you, too, will be smiling, raising a glass to toast your victory, and effectively singing “Mele Kalikimaka”
in the very spot
where
you were INFAMOUSLY bombed
just a few short years before.
Truth wins — EVERY time.
************************************
For just a little reminder of what it costs
and
how VICTORY FEELS… it is coming ….
AND OF THE FACT THAT

THE DETERMINATION AND COURAGE DISPLAYED IN THE FACES BELOW — LIVES!

(those are OUR grandparents and great-grandparents, after all :))
A reprise of “American Patrol”

You Science Geeks of WUWT — ROCK!
Love,
Janice
#(:))

Jeff
Reply to  Janice Moore
October 16, 2014 5:28 pm

Snow, snow, snow, snow, snow
Snow
It won’t be long before we’ll all be there with snow
Snow
I want to wash my hands, my face and hair with snow
Snow
I long to clear a path and lift a spade of snow
Snow
Oh, to see a great big man entirely made of snow
Where it’s snowing
All winter through
That’s where I want to be
Snowball throwing
That’s what I’ll do
How I’m longing to ski
Through the snow-oh-oh-oh-oh
Those glist’ning houses that seem to be built of snow
Snow
Oh, to see a mountain covered with a quilt of snow
What is Christmas with no snow
No white Christmas with no snow
Snow
I’ll soon be there with snow
I’ll wash my hair with snow
And with a spade of snow
I’ll build a man that’s made of snow
I’d love to stay up with you but I recommend a little shuteye
Go to sleep
And dream
Of snow
Holiday Inn …. though the weather didn’t fit the *cough* models then 🙂 (especially when there was an SP train running on the east coast….)

Jeff
Reply to  Janice Moore
October 16, 2014 5:39 pm

“(those are OUR grandparents and great-grandparents, after all :))”
Parents, in my case….gosh, you’re making me feel old(er) 🙂
Yep, they were the “greatest generation”…here’s to doing our best to
follow in their footsteps.

Janice Moore
Reply to  Janice Moore
October 16, 2014 7:06 pm

@ Jeff — “old” is a state of mind (physical challenges can happen at ANY age; the key is controlling the one thing we CAN control: ATTITUDE).
As I discovered when I turned a significant ## this year… it’s like this:
Here I am, on a professional volleyball team, standing in the locker room. They’re handing out our new jerseys for the season. Unlike the usual thing, on this team they issue you a new number every year (add one to previous year’s). I turn my jersey around and look on the back and think, “##. Hnh. I’ve been on the team quite awhile now.” Put on the new jersey, run out onto the court and start to play — SAME — AS — EVER!
It’s — just — a — number! And that little allegory got me permanently (we’ll see how it does a decade from now…) over the “Aaaa! I’m ##!” alarm.
Yes, I realize that I don’t play volleyball as well, now — just analogizing to the ESSENTIAL activities of life…. conversation…. thinking…. the athletic activities which my body can still do quite well… smiling… EATING — yea!
“Carpe diem!”
“Go, Jeff, go!”
Eat some pizza;
… enjoy the snow!
Okay. That’s all the coaching from this cheer leader for today!
#(:))

Mario Lento
Reply to  Janice Moore
October 16, 2014 7:28 pm

LOL

Mac the Knife
Reply to  Janice Moore
October 16, 2014 9:14 pm

Janice,
Those were my parents, just ‘kids’ in the US Army of WWII… both gone now. Three uncles as well – all gone.
We honor their memories…. and all who served and serve.
May God bless our Representative Republic,
Mac
PS: You ever play Wallyball?

Janice Moore
Reply to  Janice Moore
October 17, 2014 7:59 am

Hi, Mac the Knife,
I sure messed up with that “grandparents” thing! Oops!
You can be so proud of your relatives who did so much to keep this country free.
No, I’ve never played Wallyball (how do you play it?). We played Kick-the-can, though — LOTS of fun — and kickball and softball and rode our bikes all over the place… .
Take care.
Janice

Reply to  Sweet Old Bob
October 17, 2014 6:41 pm

@Janice Moore,
What’s with the An-tho-ny Watts thing?

Janice Moore
Reply to  policycritic
October 18, 2014 12:48 pm

Dear Policy Critic,
If you spell it out An-thon-y normally (just try it! — not fun), you get put into auto-moderation. Sometimes, I spell it out correctly on purpose, hoping it will bring that particular message before his eyes. Also, “l1es” (spell it normally and, you guessed it! Moderation). Also, “mo-derator” and several other moderation-triggers. I’ve learned the hard way… .
Hope that answered your question,
Janice

dp
October 16, 2014 4:13 pm

Aloha kakou! E komo mai. You can see it up close and person with the Mauna Kea Kams:
http://mkwc.ifa.hawaii.edu/current/cams/

Old England
October 16, 2014 4:35 pm

When the public know the difference between hot and cold it is very difficult for the alarmists to be convincing when they try and spin that unusually cold weather means it is is getting hotter.
It never ceases to amaze me that they are sufficiently stupid as to believe the public will swallow that, but maybe that is just a measure of the alarmists arrogance. Hubris awaits.

Mario Lento
Reply to  Old England
October 16, 2014 7:39 pm

Today, I just heard an old woman today complaining about Obamacare and “all those immigrants.” She was pretty racist in how she presented her disdain. She then told me she voted Democrat, because she thinks those Republicans are all greedy. I was dumbfounded and responded, “Well, you got just what you voted for.”
People this dumb are the problem. They create their own problems and bitch about the very people who would have brought a different outcome… speaking of immigrants, I told her that Republicans are virtually all descendants of immigrants… as she herself is a descendant. I said, Democrats wants illegal immigration because they will get the votes… and I concluded, she ought not read liberal newspapers and bumper stickers and feel informed.
This is also what brings us CAGW and the expensive energy policies that she also complained about.

Mario Lento
Reply to  Mario Lento
October 16, 2014 8:09 pm

Thx dbstealey and Janice.
I always listen in and speak in simple undeniable terms out in public. And on the AWG front, there are so many smart people who do not want to be enlightened about the subject. I always start with the question. “Did you know that global warming stopped after 1997 and no climate scientists question that fact?” They don’t believe it. Even people I know that have masters’ degrees in engineering! I continue, that “I cannot help you if you don’t even know what can be easy to know. Just check out the satellite global record or pretty much any global temperature record (save a tiny few). If you’re not willing to actually take a look at the global temperatures, then all of your beliefs are based on political adds and liberal misinformation. ”
I cannot argue with anyone who “feels” that the climate is continuing to warm without actually spending 5 minutes to take a look at the records.
Main stream liberalism is really the root of most problems faced by the developed world.

Jeff
October 16, 2014 4:42 pm

I got snowed out while observing on UKIRT at Mauna Kea one July or August night in ’93 or ’94. Imagine calling relatives on the mainland: “Yeah, so I’m here in the snow in Hawaii in July…”

October 16, 2014 4:59 pm

Hah, absolutely predicted by global warming just like Great Lakes 6 deg colder than usual…yessir..global warming…

Hayekian
October 16, 2014 5:14 pm

So does this mean Hawaii has replaced the North Pole as Al Gore’s favorite vacation spot ?

RockyRoad
Reply to  Hayekian
October 16, 2014 9:52 pm

So that’s the cause…

Auto
Reply to  RockyRoad
October 17, 2014 2:36 pm

RockyRoad,
Thanks.
I have Googled, and it a p p e a r s that we in England are to be spared the great AlGore-ithm’s depressing effects on local temperatures until February, at least.
For which we thank our several gods.
No – Mod; absolutely not sarc.
Under any circumstances.
The trillionaire – isn’t he already? – is a sanguinary ice-magnet.
Auto

Don Bennett
October 16, 2014 5:17 pm

Oh, on the Big Island, there is such a job description as “snowplow driver”. My friend there who works up at the NASA IR telescope, has to shovel snow every year up at the observatory and has days off of work because the road is closed to the summit of Mauna Kea because of snow.

October 16, 2014 5:21 pm

Global warming (aka climate change) is the religion of the stupid.
zazzle.com/FirstPrinciples*

J
October 16, 2014 5:25 pm

That Keeling lab on the volcano, they are sucking the CO2 away locally, of course, making it cooler there.

Gary Pearse
October 16, 2014 5:28 pm

http://weather.unisys.com/surface/sst_anom_new.gif
If this cold blue moves a bit south the snow may come down on Waikiki!

Patrick
October 16, 2014 5:32 pm

We had snow here on the hills here in Australia, and it’s mid spring.

Sean
October 16, 2014 5:55 pm

I don’t buy the global warming charlatan arguments, but I did some quick research and I cant find anything to support where snowfall at this date at that elevation in Hawaii is abnormal. Its almost 3 miles high (13K feet, close to 3X higher than Denver, CO). With moisture laden air moving over that land mass at that height, I would expect snow year round! Don’t hang your hat on this as an argument against AGW.

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  Sean
October 16, 2014 8:48 pm

… I would expect . . .
East to west air movement encounters the land that rises steeply on the eastern side. As the air rises there is considerable precipitation such that above a certain elevation there is very little moisture remaining. The tops are near deserts.
http://rainfall.geography.hawaii.edu/assets/images/rainfall_patterns.jpg
Search for rainfall patterns of Hawaii. The lines of equal rainfall are called isohyets (analogous to elevation and contour lines). The main page of the above link is a start.

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  John F. Hultquist
October 16, 2014 8:54 pm

Sorry, meant for the link to show. Click to see it is from the geography folks a Hawaii. Thanks edu-types. Nice site.

Janice Moore
Reply to  John F. Hultquist
October 17, 2014 9:09 am

Always the conscientious, thorough, well-informed, teacher, Professor Hultquist. Thank you for the great graphic. And I STILL remember how grateful I was for your “They also serve who only stand and wait… .” Boy, have I needed that this past year!
Janice

Jimbo
Reply to  Sean
October 17, 2014 3:19 am

Sean
….Don’t hang your hat on this as an argument against AGW……

The above post does mention this…..

While snowfall on the big island is nothing new,………..seeing snow this early in the season on the mounatins is somewhat rare.

I don’t use snow to disprove global warming. I just like to poke fun at them. Do note that these same Warmists would not hesitate to point at one heatwave and scream about heatwaves getting more common due to global warming – without any peer reviewed evidence to back it up. PS it occasionally snows in the Sahara and the Amazon, yet this does not disprove man-made global warming.
Now take a look at this!!!! These are the kinds of people I have to deal with all the time. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry, that’s why I can only poke fun at them.

Guardian – 15 February, 2005
George Monbiot
It is now mid-February, and already I have sown 11 species of vegetable. I know, though the seed packets tell me otherwise, that they will flourish. Everything in this country – daffodils, primroses, almond trees, bumblebees, nesting birds – is a month ahead of schedule. And it feels wonderful. Winter is no longer the great grey longing of my childhood. The freezes this country suffered in 1982 and 1963 are, unless the Gulf Stream stops, unlikely to recur. Our summers will be long and warm. Across most of the upper northern hemisphere, climate change, so far, has been kind to us.
==============
Guardian – 6 January 2010
Leo Hickman & George Monbiot
Britain’s cold snap does not prove climate science wrong
Climate sceptics are failing to understand the most basic meteorology – that weather is not the same as climate, and single events are not the same as trends
…Now we are being asked to commit ourselves to the wilful stupidity of extrapolating a long-term trend from a single event….
==============
Guardian – 20 December 2010
George Monbiot
That snow outside is what global warming looks like
Unusually cold winters may make you think scientists have got it all wrong. But the data reveal a chilling truth

Janice Moore
Reply to  Jimbo
October 17, 2014 9:06 am

Game, set, and MATCH to JIMBO! #(:))

October 16, 2014 6:22 pm

****correction****
“McIDAS images of GOES-15 (GOES-West) 6.5 µm water vapor channel data…”
the image shown is not the 6.5 um water vapor channel but the 0.65 um visible channel. You would not be able to see land/water details or the snow cover on the mountain top in the WV channel.
Jeff

Tom Woods
October 16, 2014 6:32 pm

https://twitter.com/RealSullivanWx/status/521839214032601088
Grabbed a screenshot of that as it occurred, actually

Janice Moore
Reply to  Tom Woods
October 16, 2014 6:51 pm

Good one, Tom!

H D
October 16, 2014 7:28 pm

It’s global warming brah.

jay
October 16, 2014 7:33 pm

and with a hurricane on it’s way, does that mean more snow???

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  jay
October 16, 2014 8:15 pm

It’ll never make landfall in Hawaii as an actual hurricane. Maybe a tropical storm. A miss to the south is more likely.

CalypsoGypsy
October 16, 2014 7:52 pm

Wow! Snow at the freezing level…. big surprise! As I recall it was below freezing above Jacksonville, Fl in August at FL13. Oh Noes!!11one

milodonharlani
October 16, 2014 7:58 pm

Also first new snow on the Three Sisters in Central Oregon this morning. Global cooling is beautiful yet deadly.

Mark T
October 16, 2014 8:02 pm

Ski resorts in CO opening soon, Pike’s Peak covered at least a week now.
Mark

Joel O'Bryan
October 16, 2014 8:13 pm

A beautiful mild October in most of the country, especially the north, is lulling the population to sleep. Late November will be the wake up call.

Lance
October 16, 2014 8:15 pm

I remember my parents going to Hawaii many years ago (60’s)? and they brought me back a T shirt with “Ski Hawaii”…I remember laughing thinking back then that they can’t get snow!!

richard verney
October 16, 2014 10:26 pm

Since Mauna Loa is a volcano, isn’t the atmosphere above this area particularly rich in CO2 (I understand that they need to make corrections for CO2 before they publish their CO2 data since the volcano naturally spues out a lot of CO2), that being the case, shouldn’t there be more DWLWIR in this region when compared to similar latitudes where there are no volcanoes?.
Shouldn’t this additional DWLWIR quickly melt the snows, so that snowfall shouldn’t stick around for long?. What experiments are being conducted on a DWLWIR rich environment, to see the effect of additional CO2 and DWLWIR?

Rainer Bensch
Reply to  richard verney
October 17, 2014 1:09 am

“We have the results of our models for about 25 years, why shall we make experiments to show something wrong with them?”
/sarc just in case…

HomeBrewer
October 17, 2014 12:42 am

Snow in southern Sweden yesterday too.

Markopanama
October 17, 2014 2:46 am

Time to fire up the new mantra…
ANTHROPOGENIC GLOBAL COOLING
The models clearly show that humans are uniquely reonsible for snow in Hawaii. Time to invest in ski lifts for Mauna Loa. And we have a new figurehead to replace the hockey stick team – Santa and his band of dwarfs,,, err, elves. I understand they run their climate models on a bank of Commodore 64s left over from some Christmas past.

James Loux
October 17, 2014 4:35 am

The PDO clearly rules Hawaii’s weather patterns. Every winter there is at least a dusting of snow at the top of Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa and even Haleakala (10,000 feet high) on Maui. But the last time that I could ski Mauna Kea was in the mid 1980s. The snow was 10 feet deep. The snow storms started in November and lasted to June back then. That last ski trip was in late April and the snow was from a big storm in mid April. On schedule, 30 years later the snow storms are returning. Here is the view from the ground during the last storm and then the following day.
http://louxeng.com/r/Mauna%20Kea%20composit.jpg

Janice Moore
Reply to  James Loux
October 17, 2014 9:09 am

Very nice montage, James Loux. Thank you for sharing.

Janice Moore
Reply to  Janice Moore
October 17, 2014 9:11 am

And, lol, no, An-th-ony, I am not trying for the #3 poster spot again, here…. heh.

Janice Moore
Reply to  Janice Moore
October 17, 2014 9:11 am

But

Janice Moore
Reply to  Janice Moore
October 17, 2014 9:12 am

I

Janice Moore
Reply to  Janice Moore
October 17, 2014 9:12 am

could

Janice Moore
Reply to  Janice Moore
October 17, 2014 9:12 am

try!

Janice Moore
Reply to  Janice Moore
October 17, 2014 9:13 am

#(:))

Colin
October 17, 2014 7:43 am

Maybe its due to Inadvertent Climate Modification. Should about cover ANYTHING the climate (or weather) throws our way.

October 17, 2014 7:51 am

I guess we can chalk this up to “Inasvertent Climate Modification”? Should about cover anything.

October 17, 2014 7:52 am

Inadvertent Climate Modification. Darn keyboard

Janice Moore
Reply to  colinpratt
October 17, 2014 9:04 am

It even affects our tuiping!!1 🙂

bushbunny
October 17, 2014 4:52 pm

We had snow here last week in Australia during our mid Spring. On the Northern Tablelands particularly Armidale, last week our temps plummeted and I rushed to bring in my tropical and sub tropical bonsai back inside. (We are 3,500 ft absl) 27C during the day and minus at night, and frost expected. Where is this global warming eh? I personally watch the weather forecasts on the net all the time. I suspect the Northern Hemisphere will get another cold winter, but Hawaii? Here (on the inland regions) of course we find the low temps do not produce rain. Can’t win, eh.

Richard
October 18, 2014 10:43 am

I couldn’t reply to that Phil. fellow on the Ben Santer thread because its closed. Basically what he said was that were it not for the fact that we have pumped in massive amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere the Earth would have cooled around 0.16 C in the last decade due to natural variation. Apparently he thinks that a cooling of 0.16C would have been good and the fact it didn’t take place is bad. What an …..

Doug
October 20, 2014 9:02 pm

Mauna Kea is the top arrow, not the bottom, as in the text.

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