COURTESY GEMINI NORTH OBSERVATORY
Mauna Kea officials estimate 1 to 2 inches of snow lay on the ground around the observatories over the weekend. More bad weather is expected for the rest of the week.
Mauna Kea summit road is closed off due to snow
HILO » Snow and ice closed the road to the summit of Mauna Kea, and bad weather was expected for the rest of the week, Mauna Kea Observatories Support Services said yesterday.
"We're closed. It's completely socked in," said Peter Michaud, spokesman for the Gemini North Observatory on Mauna Kea.
Support Services said the snow extended from the 11,000-foot elevation to the 13,796-foot summit. One to 2 inches of snow lay on the ground with rocks clearly visible through the snow, Support Services said, warning that there was not enough for skiing or snow boarding.
The temperature was 25 degrees with winds of 10 mph from the west at 4:15 p.m., Support Services said.
Michaud said conditions were not too bad on Friday night, with astronomers losing only about two hours to bad weather. But both Saturday and Sunday nights were completely lost to astronomers because of the weather, he said.