hawaii mountains panorama
hawaii panorama

Hawaii Climate Overview

SEP-NOV – Autumn, Great waves, Decent rainfall mostly at night

DEC-FEB – Winter, Highest rain for the year, Huge waves

MAR-MAY – Spring, Most Pleasant, Smaller waves, Good for swimming

JUN-AUG – Summer, Highest temperatures for the year, Minimal amount of rain

Hawaii enjoys fantastic weather all year round. Being a tropical island group, Hawaii typically experiences consistently warm weather all year round. Winter barely exists in Hawaii with its two main seasons characterized by a warm winter and an even warmer summer.

Temperatures generally linger between  85 °F  (29 °C ) and 90 °F (32 °C) during the warmer summer months while during the winter months, temperatures fall to between 79 °F (26 °C)and 83 °F (28 °C).

Hawaii is in close proximity to the equator means that extremes in temperature are quite uncommon. In fact, temperatures of 90 °F (32 °C) and above are quite rare (with the exception of dry, leeward areas).

Typically, the winter’ months of December, January and February are the coolest months, while he summer months of July, August and September are the warmest months.

 

Hawaii Winds

The Hawaiian warm weather is complemented by cool trade winds that  provide a refreshing breeze even in the really hot weather.

 

Hawaii Rainfall

The official Hawaiian rainy season is in the winter months, from November to March. As such, the months of April – October tend to have less rain. Though there’s an official rainy season, the fact is it generally rains every day somewhere on every island regardless of the time of year.

However, it is generally more like a light sprinkle than a downpour; rarely lasts more than a few minutes before the glorious sunshine breaks through again. Rainy season or not, it is very rare for it to rain continuously for days.

Additionally, most of the rain that falls in Hawaii occurs overnight. As such, in most cases, rain won’t affect your day.

 

Best Time To Visit Hawaii

Understandably, most visitors don’t come to Hawaii when the weather’s best in the islands; rather, they come when it’s at its worst everywhere else. This is the high season in Hawaii. During the high season, generally from mid-December through March or mid-April, prices are generally up; you can expect o pay top dollar for airfare, accommodation, rentals, etc.

Blue skies on the gorgeous island of Kauai during summer
Blue skies on the gorgeous island of Kauai during summer

Importantly, if you are planning a trip to Hawaii, make your reservations as early as possible as rooms are often booked to capacity.

Then there is the off-season. During this spring period, (mid-Apr to mid-June) and fall (Sept to mid-Dec), the island is less crowded and prices are lower.

If you are looking to save money, avoid the crowds and experience pleasant spring weather where the days are cooler, the waters are calmer and there is less rainfall., then this is the best period to visit Hawaii, especially May to March.

Walmea Bay during winter
Walmea Bay during winter

Of course, it will come as no surprise that the summer months are is a popular period to visit as well. The summer is the busiest time of the year, during which all the attractions and tours are open and the weather is warmest.

To make the most of a summer vacation in Hawaii, plan your trip around the early part of the season, from mid-June through mid-July. During this initial period, summer school typically is in session and the island is generally calmer.

 

Hawaii General Weather & Forecasts

  • Weather In Oahu

Most places in Oahu have a tropical wet and dry/ savanna climate with a pronounced dry season in the high-sun months, no cold season and a wet season is in the low-sun months.

Current Weather In Oahu:

In general, the southern Oahu, including Waikiki and Honolulu experience the best bouts of sunshine in Hawaii. Of course, the not experiences a fair amount of sunshine as well. As such, almost any part of Oahu is a good choice for great weather all year round.

The mean annual temperature is for Oahu is 25.1 degrees Celsius (77.2 degrees Fahrenheit).

 

  • Weather In Maui

Maui is great for experience great bouts of sunshine. For wonderful sunshine, you’ll want to visit places in the south of Maui, i.e. areas in and around Wailea.

Current Weather In Maui:

Areas in the west such as Lahaina Kaanapali and Kapalua tend to get a bit more rainfall. This includes, including beautiful Hana which accounts for the lush rainforests, streams and waterfalls.

 

  • Weather In Kauai

For wonderful Kaui sunshine, visit the East and south shores. In the north, places such as Princeville and Hanalei, you’ll experience moisture of sunshine and intermittent shows.

 

 

 

  • Weather In Big Island

The Big Island of Hawaii offers the most diverse climate and weather patterns within the Hawaiin island group.

Current Weather In Big Island:

The popular Kohala and Kona coasts offer extensive days of beautiful sun, with little rainfall. On the est side, you will find Hilo, which experiences relatively significant amounts of showers.

 

  • Weather In Lanai

The popular Manele Bay is a great choice for warmer and sunnier days. This is as compared to highlands or upcountry of Lanai which often experience a cooler climate.

 

 

  • Weather In Molokai

Molokai’s weather follows a standard pattern. Here, you will find little weather variations. In general, the north and east sides of the island a bit more rain than the south and west sides of the island.

 


Characteristics of Hawaii Weather


There’s not much to not like about Hawaii weather.  In my opinion, it’s perfect.  You really have to visit or live here to know what I
mean, though.  Even on the bad days, like if it’s raining, it’s still going to be around 75 degrees and balmy.

hawaii weatherThe summers are beautiful, especially if the Hawaiian trade winds are just right.  You can sit on the beach all day in the sun and trade winds will keep you cool enough to be perfectly comfortable.  The ocean water is refreshing but not cold.  Island life is pretty awesome.

Rainfall

Hawaii is very green.  It is always raining somewhere on the islands and that rain provides for the beauty of the life that grows and resides in Hawaii.  It is not uncommon for rain to be gently falling and the sun to be bright in the sky.  Also, a pleasant called kilihune in hot, sunny weather is beautiful and refreshing.  Hilo, on the big island, is the wettest city in the US.  In contrast, there are some areas of the islands that receive less than 6 inches of rainfall per year.

Bright, Strong Sun

Hawaii is close to the equator and close to the sun.  Couple that with the beautiful, clean air that resides around Hawaii that means there is very little filter that the sun needs to pass through on a clear day.  It is important to wear a hat and sunscreen to protect your skin.  If you do happen to get burned then you can locate a local aloe plant and gently rub the gooey liquid on your skin as an instant relief.  There are also aloe lotions that you can buy in stores.

Strong Winds

The last Hurricane to actually hit the Hawaiian Islands was in 1992.  That being said, there is a hurricane season in Hawaii that runs from the front end of June and through November.  While hurricanes are rare, the strong trade winds can make for some very interesting tropical storms on the islands.

Humidity

When most people think tropical, they think humidity.  Sure, if you’re from a dry or landlocked environment then you may notice that your skin feels more replenished and generally more dampness in the air.  Hawaii, however, is lucky.  With the cooling trade winds the humidity is more than bearable and, in fact, adds to the beauty of the weather.  Sometimes, when the trade winds die down then it may just slightly more uncomfortable.

 


Hawaiian Climate Zones


There are 11 of the 13 worldwide climate zones active somewhere on the Hawaiian Islands.  So, really, when you visit Hawaii you’ll have the opportunity to visit and experience a vastly different climate from spot to spot if you so choose.  Or, you can just stay warm on a beach and by the water.

hawaii clear weatherEach of the 11 climate zones is completely different in ecosystem and characteristics.  Such things as elevation, rainfall, wind, topography and air pressure variations all factor into setting the uniqueness of each zone.

If you’re aiming to do some mountain climbing or volcano seeing, then be prepared for cooler temperatures at those higher elevations.  Generally, you can count on a 3.3 to 3.6 degree fall in temperature for every one thousand feet of elevation.  So, if it’s 78 degrees Fahrenheit on the beach, then you can count on 74 to 75 degrees at 1,000 feet above.

Even though the 11 climate zones are spread out in different areas of the state of Hawaii, and you may have to search for them if you trying to experience them all, don’t worry there is nothing bland about the weather here.  Each of the Hawaiian Islands has all of the primary climate zones which include:  tropical rain forest, desert, temperate and tundra climates.  You’ll get a nice array of weather on any islandyou visit on your Hawaiian vacation or during your move to Hawaii.

 

Time Zone of Hawaii

This is one of the better parts about Hawaii, in my opinion.  Hawaii has its own time-zone (rather, it shares one with Alaska), but we just refer to it as Hawaiian Standard Time.  Hawaii doesn’t do the whole “daylight savings time” thing.  That’s for the mainlanders who are worried about time and in a hurry…we’re chill.  The time behind the mainland will vary depending on whether daylight savings time is in effect or not.

 

Daylight Savings Time on Mainland:

Hawaii:  3 hours behind West Coast and 6 hour behind the East Coast.

 

Not During Daylight Savings Time:

Hawaii:  2 hours behind West Coast and 5 hours behind the East Coast.

 

Different Places on the island:  Windward and Leeward

Which side of one of the Hawaiian Islands you’re on can really make a big difference the weather as well, especially the current weather.

Windward side:  The side of the island that faces east, named after the trade winds that blow in from the northeast.  This part of the island is usually cooler.

Leeward side:  Less wind and rainfall make the leeward side dryer and warmer.