The climate of Hawaii
, the oceanic American state, is tropical but encounters four different Köppen climate zones: tropical, arid, temperate, and polar based on altitude and topography on the constituent islands.
The entire state is an archipelago surrounded by water, which lies in Oceania, southwest of the continental United States in the central Pacific Ocean. Trade winds from the Pacific Ocean substantially influence the weather as they push towards the northeastern slopes of the Hawaiian Islands, where they move further upwards and produce significant rainfall on the windward side.
The eight main islands have varied microclimates such as tropical rainforest, arid desert, temperate, and alpine based on the region's elevation and its relative position, windward or leeward concerning the high mountains. The diverse terrain of high mountain peaks up to 4200 meters, valleys, ridges, and extensive slopes is responsible for wide-ranging weather conditions. The vast Pacific Ocean that surrounds Hawaii on all sides supplies large quantities of fresh sea air throughout the year and acts as a giant thermostat that does not allow the temperatures of the islands to reach the high levels typical of the tropics.
Hawaii's climate is characteristically tropical but with moderate temperatures and humidity due to the influence of north and eastern trade winds.
Summer average high temperatures peak at 84°F (28.9°C), as highs usually do not breach 90°F (32.2°C), while the lows seldom drop below 70°F (21.1°C).
Winter average high temperatures are usually at 79°F (26.1°C), and the lows seldom dip below 65°F (18.3°C) at night.
Hawaii has the lowest record high temperature at 100°F (37.8°C) and is the only American state never to record a temperature below 32°F (0°C).
Snow falls at higher altitudes such as Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa during the winter. Mount Waialeale on Kauai records an average annual rainfall of 460" (11684mm) per year, which is the second-highest average annual rainfall on Earth.
The Hawaiian Islands mainly exhibit two seasons: dry from May
, which is hot and receives a minor amount of rain and wet from October
, which is warm and aggregates the majority of the annual precipitation of 32" (813mm). Proximity to the equator gives equal days and nights with minimum temperature variations at sea level.
Pacific hurricanes that are a threat from July
seldom affect the state to a major extent. Thunderstorms are a bigger threat, that drive big waves towards the islands, but localized weather patterns mean there is always a possibility to find serene, sheltered beaches at any time of the year - it is common for a region to experience heavy rainfall, while it may be sunny at the same time a few miles away from it.
The best time to visit Hawaii
is popular, around the year tourist destination with its vast coastline of roughly 750 miles, diverse landscape amid a backdrop of mountains, warm tropical climate, and abundant public beaches. However, the best time to visit Hawaii is from May
in the dry season, particularly in May and June
, as the summer temperatures are not extreme due to trade winds and the surrounding abundant waters. July
sees a regular threat of thunderstorms, and hurricanes though not destructive, occur in this period.
The worst time to visit Hawaii
has comfortable temperatures and sunny days regularly during the winter. Nevertheless, the period from November
during the wet season is prone to heavy rainfall and is the worst time to visit Hawaii compared to the rest of the year. The windward areas on the northern mountain slopes get ample rainfall, and the hurricane and storm season stretches until December
Most of the tourist resorts are on leeward sides, which means less rain and cooler temperatures - hence, flights and accommodation tend to be costly from November to April.
is prone to regular thunderstorms and hurricanes from July
. Winds blow up to 100mph (160.9km/h) with severe rainfall and lightning during severe thunderstorms. Pacific hurricanes do not have a high impact, but cyclones from northerly latitudes and Kona storms near the islands that last for several days pose routine threats from October
The winter experiences more clouds, rainfall, and storms as well as south and westerly trade winds. Hailstorms are more frequent than tornadoes, which have an annual average of one per year.
Weather in Januar
lies in the wet season with average temperatures in the mild range of 68°F (20°C) to 79°F (26.1°C). Temperatures tend to be slightly lower on the leeward slopes compared to the windward areas. Honolulu is the warmest in the 66°F (18.9°C) to 81°F (27.2°C) range, while Hilo on the coast, exposed to northeast trade winds measures 64°F (17.8°C) to 79°F (26.1°C).
Weather in Februar
is the coldest month of the year in Hawaii
with the average temperatures in a steady 68°F (20°C) to 79°F (26.1°C) range. Cold fronts are common and precede a cold wave from the northern Polar Regions - however, the considerable distance that any air mass has to travel to reach the islands reduces its intensity so that temperatures are never extreme.
Weather in April
is a beautiful month that brings the end of the wet season in Hawaii
with partly cloudy skies and average temperatures in the temperate 70°F (21.1°C) to 79°F (26.1°C) range. Average rainfall of 2" (51mm) registers on the rain gauge - heavy rain occurs in the highlands, moderate in the lowlands of north and east, and meager in south and west. Weather in April »
Weather in Jun
is another fascinating month to visit Hawaii
with average temperatures in the comfortable 73°F (22.8°C) to 82°F (27.8°C) range. Trade winds flow from the area of high pressure, the North Pacific High, which lies in the north and east of Hawaii during the summer and forms a ventilation system with mild temperatures around the islands.
Weather in Jul
is a summer month in Hawaii
that lies in the dry season with average temperatures of 75°F (23.9°C) to 82°F (27.8°C). It also brings thunderstorms to the region mainly due to localized weather patterns that bring winds, lightning, and sometimes hail along with them.