One of the youngest geological formations in the world, the Hawaiian island chain was formed by a series of underwater volcanic eruptions. Due to this tumultuous volcanic upbringing, the relatively small Hawaiian Islands have a very diverse landscape and terrain, ranging from desert like barren flats to lush tropical rainforest and white sand beaches. Similarly, the volcanoes which are “shield” in type have an analogous effect on the island chain’s weather. Although temperatures remain fairly consistent and vary a small amount from season to season, Hawaii weather tends to be very localized and differences in temperatures and precipitation can be noticed over the span of only a few miles.
The summer season is from May through October and has an average daytime temperature of 85° and water temperature of 80° made remarkably pleasant by the cooling effect of the trade winds. Being situated below the Tropic of Cancer however makes the sun’s rays incredibly powerful and potentially dangerous to unprotected skin. Visitors to the islands should take precautions to protect their skin from the tropic rays as sunburn could occur.
The winter season has an average daytime temperature of 78° and water temperature of 74°. Occurring between November and April, winter in Hawaii is also the wetter of the two seasons. The Northeastern coasts of the islands receive most of the rainfall in the mountains and valleys, further illustrating the localized effect the shield volcanoes play. Regardless of the season, night time temperatures in Hawaii are generally 10° lower than the daytime temp and are cool and pleasant, requiring only a light jacket or sweater. Much like Hawaii weather, wave size may vary drastically between locations. Kona, on the Big Island is known for its calm waters ideal for leisurely swims and sea life viewing while the north shore of Oahu has a seven mile stretch renowned for its large winter waves providing the perfect setting for famous surf championships.
Paradise knows no off-season and the weather in Hawaii, idyllic even during the winter months, proves this. Even during times of rain or cooler temperatures, a few miles drive will take you into more moderate and pleasant conditions. The volcanoes which built Hawaii’s history also provide small pockets of unique Hawaii weather scattered across these most extraordinary islands.