It’s set to end early Saturday morning.

Palm Trees in Storm
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A rare May storm is brewing in paradise. While visions of swaying palm trees and gentle trade winds might come to mind when you think of Hawaii, this week the islands are facing a powerful system bringing heavy rain, thunderstorms, and even snow to the Big Island’s peaks.

According to the National Weather Service, the culprit behind this uncharacteristic weather is a slow-moving low-pressure system. This weather anomaly is disrupting the usual trade wind pattern, which typically ushers in wet conditions to the northern and eastern sides of the islands. This time around, all the islands are at risk of experiencing heavy showers and potential flash flooding, particularly in low-lying areas and those prone to runoff. Forecasters warn that areas unaccustomed to receiving a lot of rain could be especially susceptible to flooding.

The greatest threat for severe weather is expected to arrive Friday and linger through Friday night. Flash flooding and thunderstorms are a major concern, with the possibility of hail and damaging winds. If you’re visiting Hawaii or call the islands home, be sure to stay updated on the latest weather alerts and heed any evacuation notices that may be issued. Here’s a quick island-by-island breakdown of what to expect:

  • Big Island: The Big Island summits could see up to 6 inches of snow, making this a truly unique weather event. Kona storms are more common in the winter months, but this system is packing an unseasonably strong punch. Don’t forget, despite its tropical location, Hawaii’s high mountains do get snow! A High Wind Warning is also in effect for the summits until Saturday morning.
  • Maui: Flash flooding is a particular concern in Maui’s hilly areas. The heaviest rain is forecast for windward and mauka locations.
  • Kauai and Oahu: These islands can expect the rainy weather to begin first, with the potential for downpours moving eastward.
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The good news is that conditions are expected to improve over the weekend. While there may still be scattered showers, the severe weather threat should gradually taper off by Saturday morning.

While this storm may disrupt your island itinerary a bit, it’s also a chance to witness a rare meteorological marvel. So, if you find yourself dodging raindrops, take comfort in knowing you’re experiencing a piece of Hawaiian weather history!

This story was generated by AI and edited by Sunset staff.