Residents of the Big Island of Hawaii are bracing for a rare winter storm that could dump more than12 inches of snow in higher elevations. For the first time since 2018, the National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning as a strong Kona storm is expected to stall over the area on Saturday (December 4). Kona storms are seasonal cyclones formed by cold winds from the west.
The storm is forecast to bring flooding rains of more than an inch per hour in lower elevations, along with high winds, which could top speeds of 100 mph. Higher elevations near the Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa mountains could see blizzard conditions as the high winds whip up the snow.
"Travel could be very difficult to impossible. Blowing snow will significantly reduce visibility at times, with periods of zero visibility," the National Weather Service warned.
The storm is expected to stick around through next week, with rain and thunderstorms in the forecast through Wednesday.