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Rare blizzard warning issued in Hawaii

Friday, December 3rd 2021, 1:11 pm - The rare blizzard could bring heavy snow and strong winds through Saturday morning.

A rare blizzard warning has been issued for Hawaii's Big Island summits with up to 30 cm of snow expected and wind gusts up to 160 kilometres per hour Friday evening into Saturday morning, according to a statement issued by the National Weather Service (NWS).

What makes the news even more striking is the fact that as of Friday morning, only two U.S. states had blizzard warnings in effect - Alaska and Hawaii, CTV reports.

"Travel could be very difficult to impossible," the NWS says in its statement.

"Blowing snow will significantly reduce visibility at times, with periods of zero visibility ... the strong winds will likely cause significant drifting of snow."

VIDEO: WHAT IS A BLIZZARD?

Although Hawaii's two mountain peaks, Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, see annual snowfall, this is the first time the NWS has issued a blizzard warning for the area in 3.5 years.

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A WATCH AND A WARNING

Forecasters issue weather 'watches' when conditions are favourable for a particular event to occur - in this instance, a blizzard.

A warning is issued when the event is imminent. Warnings typically indicate dangerous conditions are ahead.

Thumbnail image: Eva Elijas/Pexels

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