|Temperature and Climate Zones
|Weather on all of the Hawaiian islands is very consistent, with only moderate changes in temperature throughout the year. This is possible due to the year-round warm sea surface temperatures, which keeps the overlying atmosphere warm as well.
In practical terms there are only 2 seasons here: the summer months (called Kau in Hawaiian) that extend from May to October and the winter months (Ho’oilo) that run from November to April. The average day-time summer temperature at sea level is 85 degrees F. (29.4 C) while the average day-time winter temperature is 78 degrees
(25.6 C). Night-time temperatures are approximately 10 degrees F. lower.
Visitors to Hawaii will find that it is a marvel of nature. As a result of the shielding effect of her volcanic mountains and the differences in weather found at various elevations, there are as many different climate zones here as exist along the entire coast stretching from Alaska to Costa Rica. The islands can be described as an incredibly diverse collection of many micro-environments, each possessing unique weather, plants and animals. To see the full impact of this natural wealth visitors only need to explore the islands by car, or helicopter and they will be struck by the beauty of tropical rain forests, cool alpine regions, stony deserts and sunny beaches, all within the span of just a few short miles.
|Rainfall and Storms
|Through most of the year Hawaiian weather patterns are effected primarily by high pressure zones in the north Pacific that pump relatively cool, moist trade winds down onto the island’s northeastern slopes. This pattern holds true for most of the summer and approximately half of the time in the winter. These winds are forced up-slope by the mountain heights where ultimately their moisture condenses into clouds that produce rain. Most of the rain then falls in the mountains and valleys on the windward (northeastern) side of the islands. It is this weather phenomenon that creates the rich tropical environment of flowers and verdant greens that have made Hawaii famous. The wettest months are from November – March, but these winter rains do not generally disrupt vacationer’s plans, since the very localized nature of the weather usually means that if it is raining where you are, there is almost always a sunny spot to be found by a short drive around the coast.|
|Water and Surf Conditions
|Beach-goers will be happy to learn that the temperature of Hawaii’s near-shore waters stay comfortable throughout the year. The average year round water temperature is 74 degrees F. (23.3 C), with a summer high of 80 degrees F. (26.7 C). Wave action varies a great deal between winter and summer, and between island coasts. Generally summer waters are very gentle on all beaches. This changes in the winter on many north facing beaches, as storms far out into the Pacific drive ocean swells towards the islands, which build into large breaking waves.|