Since the Hawaii climate is pretty consistent throughout the year with only minor temperature changes, you can travel there any time of the year. While the humidity is pretty high, the constant tropical breezes keep the conditions pretty comfortable throughout the year. During the day you will be comfortable in a T-shirt or an Aloha shirt and a pair of sandals. Once the sun sets you will probably want to wear a light jacket since the temperatures can fall around ten degrees.
The shielding effect of the mountains and the differences in weather at various elevations create a diversity of climate zones. The distinctive micro-climates are specific for the interior valleys, mountain peaks and beaches in Hawaii. Positioned at the edge of the tropical zone and due to year-round warm sea surface temperatures, which keep the overlying atmosphere warm, Hawaii has only two seasons, both of them warm and one with slightly more rainfall.
Hawaii Climate During Summer
Between the months of April and November the climate is drier and warmer with the average temperature ranging from 75-88. In the summertime the north east trade winds bring most of the rainfall to the islands leeward side, which brings a welcome relief from the hot and dry weather.
The temperatures you will experience will be directly related to where you are on the islands. If you are on the sides that are sheltered from the winds, the southern and western sides, you will experiences hot and dry conditions. If you are on the windward sides, north or east, you will receive the full force of the winds and experience moister and color conditions. Go windward for tropical conditions and leeward for an arid climate.
Hawaii Climate During Winter
From December to March it is just a little bit cooler, with temperatures between 68-80 F. Winter is considered the rainy season. The heaviest rains come between October and April (the hoo’ilo season). Though storms may be common, they usually pass through the islands quickly and without incident. There are more cloudy days to spoil your sunbathing, but it seldom rains more than 3 days in a row in one spot.
Winter is surf season, so if you’re a surf rider, come to the North Shore in Oahu to catch the perfect wave. Also, whale watching season is at the end of the winter, during January to March, so make sure you are here if you want to see these magnificent creatures!
Hawaii Climate is Greatly Influenced by the Mountains
The mountains around the islands are responsible for the wide range of weather conditions. As an example, Kauai’s Mt. Waialele is one of the wettest locations on the earth. Mt. Waialele receives over 420 inches of rainfall each year, but just a few miles down the road, Waimea Canyon is completely dry and has been nicknamed the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific”. On Big Island Hawaii, Hilo is one of the wettest cities in the country, with 180 inches of rain a year. But Puako, only 60 miles away, gets less than 6 inches of rainfall. If you decide to explore the natural beauty found at higher elevations such as Mauna Kea, wear long pants and several layers of cool weather clothing. The temperature in the higher locations drops 3.5 degrees for every 1,000 feet above sea level.
Watching the sunrise from Mt Haleakala’s summit is a fabulous idea, but be sure to bundle up with scarves and gloves that will keep you cozy. The temperatures at the summit can drop to 30 F!. Also be aware that there is less protection from the sun at higher elevations so be sure to apply the sun screen liberally and wear sunglasses and a hat. The climate can change drastically in just a few hours when you are in the mountains. The unique Hawaii climate makes it possible to sun bathe on the Kona Coast and ski on Mauna Kea in the same day.
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* It’s a banner week for the end of the world, because we’ve officially pushed atmospheric carbon levels past their dreaded 400 parts per million. Permanently.
According to a blog post last Friday from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, “it already seems safe to conclude that we won’t be seeing a monthly value below 400 ppm this year—or ever again for the indefinite future.” Their findings are based on weekly observations of carbon dioxide at Hawaii’s Mauna Loa Observatory, where climate scientists have been measuring CO2 levels since 1958…
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We’ve Passed The Climate Change ‘Tipping Point’