Snow in Hawaii ・ ハワイにも雪が降る

2010.03.29 (Mon)

The following is an adaptation of an article that appeared in the March 2010 edition of the Yurihama town newsletter.


There was quite a bit of snow in Yurihama this January. I’m sure it’s a nuisance to many people around town, but as someone who was born and raised in Hawaii, this sort of weather is a real novelty. However, snow actually does fall in Hawaii!


The first place you can find snow in Hawaii is the mountain Mauna Kea (“White Mountain” in Hawaiian, 4,207m tall), which is located on the island of Hawaii. The peak of Mauna Kea is the highest point in the state, and when measured from the bottom of the sea it is over 9,100m tall. Some say this makes it taller than Mt. Everest.


The next snow spot in Hawaii is Mauna Loa (“Long Mountain” in Hawaiian, 4,260m tall). Mauna Loa is located next to Mauna Kea, and is the largest volcano in the world by volume. Mauna Loa is considered an active volcano, and it last erupted in 1984.


The third and final place that snow falls in Hawaii is the island of Maui’s Haleakala (“House of the Sun” in Hawaiian, 3,055m tall). Halekala is so massive, it makes up about three-quarters of Maui.


Thanks to these three mountains, we have snow even in Hawaii. Unfortunately, due to the difficulty of reaching their summits, most people in Hawaii don’t really have a chance to play in the snow. However, there are still people who ski and snowboard on these mountains, despite the fact that there are no ski lifts or marked trails.


Hawaii’s tall mountains aren’t just famous for snow, though. Many of the world’s premier astronomical observatories (including Japan’s Subaru Telescope) are located there. These mountains are also home to the endangered Silversword, a plant that is found nowhere else in the world.


There’s more to Hawaii than just the beach!



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