Big Island residents are used to chit chatting over topics of snow and lava; after all, it’s these phenomenons that make the island one of the most amazing places on Earth. But it’s not often that the island’s first snowfall happens around the same time the lava meets the sea – like it did recently, creating a buzz over coffee talks and random convos on the weather.
Mauna Kea: Let it snow in Hawaii.
It began on the week of Thanksgiving, which brought more than stuffed turkeys and snugger pants but fresh, powdery snow as well. The cold winter weather and blanket of white meant the holidays had officially arrived to the islands. Although it was a light snowfall, officials closed the roadways because of icey conditions.
When the roads are opened, however, residents (and some tourists) race to the top of Mauna Kea for some fun in the sun and snow. It’s the only time of year when boogey boards and gear meant for the beach turn into snow toys, and the only time you’ll ever need winter clothing in Hawaii. Kids and adults whiz down the slippery slope, only to do it again…and again.
From the mountains, we take you to the sea. Several days after the Hawaii snowfall, lava entranced the ocean with a steamy kiss. According to reports, a stream of lava (3 to 5 feet wide) poured into the ocean, about 20-feet below. It’s the first time this has happened since last December. Only a group of university students were nearby to witness the phenomenon in person; otherwise, not many people are able to see this because of the long and arduous hike to this part of the island. Also, it’s very dangerous if you get too close to the lava.
A steamy kiss: When lava meets the sea in Hawaii.
If you ever get a chance to visit the Big Island during the winter, be sure to get a well-rounded tour of the island – including the surf, snow and lava. And once you do, you’ll realize that there’s no place quite like the Big Island.
Posted by: Bruce Fisher