PHOTOS: Blanket of “Frost” Graces Summit of Haleakalā

January 9, 2014, 8:12 AM HST · Updated January 9, 9:07 AM
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Frost at Haleakalā, Jan. 9, 2014. Photo by Kamanaʻo Galloway.

Frost at Haleakalā, Jan. 9, 2014. Photo by Kamanaʻo Galloway.

By Wendy Osher

A layer of frost blanketed the upper reaches of Haleakalā at the 10,000 foot elevation this morning.

Polly Angelakis, chief of interpretation and education at Haleakalā National Park explained that “frost is when air temperatures cause ice to form, and it melts away once it gets warm. Snow is actually precipitation that falls from the sky.”

Frost at Haleakalā, Jan. 9, 2014. Photo by Kamanaʻo Galloway.

Frost at Haleakalā, Jan. 9, 2014. Photo by Kamanaʻo Galloway.

Angelakis said that although wet weather is forecast later this week, it’s impossible for her to predict when it will snow. She noted that when there is a cloud cover, it keeps the air warmer around the summit.

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The last record of snowfall at the summit that we have on record was a light dusting of flakes on Jan. 9 and 28, 2013.

The last significant “blanket of snow” atop Haleakalā happened three years ago on Jan. 19, 2011.

This morning, visitors in the area reported that the temperature was around 38 degrees according to the reading on a vehicle monitor.

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There were a total of 170 cars at the summit before 8 a.m., which is considered a slow day, according to park officials.

That’s compared to New Years Day when a record breaking 300 cars were counted at the summit as residents and visitors chose to ring in the new year with the first sunrise on Maui.

The forecast for today calls for sunny conditions at Haleakalā, with a high near 52 degrees, and a low tonight around 37 degrees.

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