A blizzard is headed for Hawaii, and meteorologists are stunned.
Portions of the Big Island of Hawaii are expected to see 12 inches or more of snow and winds up to 100 mph Friday evening through Sunday morning, according to a bulletin from the National Weather Service.
"Travel could be very difficult to impossible," the bulletin stated. "Blowing snow will significantly reduce visibility at times, with periods of zero visibility."
This unusual weather event, which will largely impact higher elevations, has surprised meteorologists across the country.
"CRAZY World!!" said retired Weather Channel winter weather expert Tom Niziol on Twitter.
"Here it is folks, #Hawaii has Blizzard Warning for the Volcanic Summits," he wrote. "That means they have beat every other state except for parts of the Plains and Alaska for a #Blizzard Warning this year."
CRAZY World!! Here it is folks, #Hawaii has Blizzard Warning for the Volcanic Summits. That means they have beat every other state except for parts of the Plains and Alaska for a #Blizzard Warning this year. #winter @spann @foxweather pic.twitter.com/FGp1F0Xtu2
— Tom Niziol (@TomNiziol) December 3, 2021
"WINTER IN HAWAII: You probably have seen this going around social media and it's not fake," said Brittany Foster of KLKN-TV in Lincoln, Neb., on Twitter.
"Hawaii is dealing with some snow! ... WOW!" Foster added.
WINTER IN HAWAII: You probably have seen this going around social media and it's not fake. Hawaii is dealing with some snow! A Blizzard Warning is in effect for the Big Island Summits as up to 12 inches of snow is expected with wind gusts over 100 mph. WOW! pic.twitter.com/ODCWbiSIlF
— Meteorologist Brittany Foster (@BrittFosterWX) December 3, 2021
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Between 2010 and 2020, the National Weather Service in Honolulu issued an average of three winter storm warnings each year and five blizzard warnings in total, according to The Weather Channel. The previous Hawaiian blizzard took place in March 2018.
This rare weather event is caused by what's called a "Kona Low," a low-pressure system that sits west of the islands and pulls in moisture from the south, per The Weather Channel. The remainder of the island is expecting heavy rain, which could possibly trigger flooding.