Hawaii mountains to see snow after rare blizzard warning

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FILE: The snow-covered Mauna Kea mountain is seen in this photo taken Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2009 near Hilo, Hawaii. Mauna Kea translates to “white mountain” in the Hawaiian language. (AP Photo/Tim Wright)

HONOLULU (AP) — The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning for mountains on Hawaii’s Big Island, saying wind gusts of above 100 mph (160 kph) and 12 inches (30.4 centimeters) or more of snow were possible.

The warning in effect through Sunday morning for Big Island summits said “travel should be restricted to emergencies only” and those who must travel should have a winter survival kit.

Blizzard warnings for Hawaii are rare, but not unheard of. The Big Island has mountain peaks that reach nearly 14,000 feet (more than 4,200 meters). CNN reported that the last blizzard warning issued by the National Weather Service in Hawaii was more than three and half years ago.

The threat of snow in Hawaii comes as places in the Rocky Mountains more used to white wintery weather are close to breaking records for days without snow. Denver’s high temperature Wednesday hit 73 degrees Fahrenheit (23 degrees Celsius), tying the record set in 1973.

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