LIHUE — Winter was in full swing this weekend on the Garden Isle, with temperatures reaching or exceeding record lows Sunday and Monday.
At around 2:45 a.m. Sunday, the temperature dropped to 54 degrees in Lihue, breaking the previous record of 59 degrees set in 2005.
Matthew Foster, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Honolulu, said that for a place where high and low temperatures are not extreme, a 5-degree decrease is significant.
“It is pretty rare,” he said of such a change, “but I think just the setup was perfect for the temperature to drop off that much.”
The chilly weather, Foster said, is the result of northerly winds and a cool, dry airmass hanging over the state.
On Monday morning, Lihue tied the 1993 record low temperature of 57 degrees.
Foster said temperatures were expected to be slightly warmer Monday night as a result of a front coming through. However, another dry airmass is expected to quickly cool things down once again.
“Tuesday night (there) could be a possibility of getting close to the record,” he said.
The NWS is calling for a low of around 59 degrees tonight, with winds from the north around 10 mph and a 20 percent chance of precipitation. Wednesday will be mostly sunny, with a high near 76 and northeast winds between 9 and 13 mph.
Wednesday night calls for scattered showers with a low around 64 and winds from the east around 9 mph.
Records temperatures were also tied or broken over the last two days on Oahu, Maui and Big Island.
On the Big Island, the summits of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa were blanketed with snow. And on Maui, the National Park Service closed the summit of Haleakala due to heavy ice, road debris, and lack of power.
The Department of Land and Natural Resources and several of its divisions responded to reports of at least six vessels adrift or grounded off Big Island, Oahu and Maui, as a result of a short, but severe winter storm Friday and Saturday, according to a release.