Which Hawaiian island does it rain the most?

Best travel time to Hawaii - everything about climate and weather

When to go, all climate and weather information for Oahu, Kauai, Maui and the Big Island

Hawaii is considered a paradise on the other side of the world. Or are they just tropical islands with guaranteed wanderlust? This is how many see the small archipelago far away in the Pacific. It is many thousands of kilometers from the mainland of the United States and is still a state of the United States.

America is a country of superlatives. The Hawaiian Islands also have many highlights. These include the unique landscapes created by volcanoes. Whale watching tours and the numerous hiking trails over hill and dale.

Depending on your interests, it is important that you choose the ideal travel time for the islands. You should keep in mind that the climate changes from north to south. No matter which island you spend your vacation on: Whether on Oahu, Kauai, Molokai, Maui or the Big Island, the climate zones are a little different.

We also asked ourselves before our Hawaii trip:

  • When is the best time to travel to the Hawaiian island chain?
  • When is the rainy season and when is it driest?
  • Above all: which season is better for swimming in the sea or seeing whales?
  • What are the temperatures like on the islands?
  • Do I have to take warm clothes with me?

In this article, I'll try to answer the questions.

Have fun while reading!

Are you planning your Hawaii vacation? Then check out these articles:

The best time to travel to Hawaii

One thing in advance:There is no such thing as the best travel time to Hawaii. The coasts of the islands are too different and depending on the activities (beach vacation, surfing, hiking) I recommend other months for a vacation in Hawaii.

In general, the weather in Hawaii is pleasantly warm all year round. The best time to travel to Hawaii is therefore all year round. Every month you have perfect conditions for a varied vacation, wonderful experiences and culture. Different festivals in Hawaii are celebrated in different months.

If you want to avoid the crowds, then you should avoid the months of July and August. Then mainland Americans are on the islands and spend their summer vacation here.

What do you want to do?

The optimal time to visit depends on your interests. Do you want to surf, lie on the beach and snorkel in the sea? Or go on many hikes?

There are generally two seasons: Kau (summer) and Hoolio (winter) with a short rainy season.

Hawaii in winter is ideal for surfing and tackling

In the winter months, the current is very strong, especially on the North Shore (north coast) of each island. Then swimming is taboo. There are plenty of surfers in action waiting for the perfect waves. The months of November to April are suitable for surfing if you are a professional. There are spots on all islands for beginners. All the year long.

Oahu and Maui host many professional surfing competitions during the winter (November and December). On the North Shore of Oahu and Jaws (Maui) you can then see the absolute experts.

The months between November and April are also very attractive for hiking. It supposedly rains less, the mud is always there anyway. The climate in winter is more pleasant: not as hot and tropical as in the summer months.

Hawaii is ideal for snorkeling and swimming in the summer

If you want to snorkel and swim, you can either choose the main season and then enjoy the hustle and bustle on the beaches. Unfortunately unavoidable with school-age children. Alternatively, you can head for the beaches in the south in winter. These are then correspondingly fuller, as all sun-seekers concentrate on these sections of the beach.

But many also enjoy the off-season, when the beaches are emptier and the travel prices are also cheaper.

The best months for whale watching

Do you want to go on whale watching tours in Hawaii? There are numerous boat tours to the ocean giants. The best months for this are between mid-December and April. On Maui, the gigantic humpback whales can sometimes be seen as early as early December.

The best time for whale watching in Hawaii is the winter months. From mid-December to April you can watch whales from the west coast of Maui in the shallow straits between Maui and Molokai or Lanikai.

Every year around 4000-5000 humpback whales pass by on the Hawaiian Islands. If you consider that only 6000 - 10000 specimens still live in the Pacific region, the number is astonishingly high.

On small ships you then have the chance to see the giants up close on the Pacific. In the warm waters off Hawaii, the whales mate and give birth to their young after a year.

Most whales can be found between February and March. When we visited, the whales were extremely late. Very few were sighted in early December. The official whale season started on December 15th in 2019. On our whale photo safari we were still able to see around eight whales.

You can read more information about whale watching on Maui here.

Weather and climate in Hawaii

The Hawaiian Islands are warm all year round and there is little rainfall. There are refreshing trade winds that make the stay very pleasant. No stuffy desert air or a dry climate, but a refreshing breeze next to the blazing sun, which can shine mercilessly.

A perfect day at the beach, especially all year round in the south of the islands. The north can sometimes get pretty stormy in winter. Especially on Kauai there is a lot of precipitation in the form of heavy rain. Floods are then not uncommon. We landed in thunder and lightning, the green spaces next to the main roads were knee-high under water.

Hikes are then very muddy affairs. Check out our video from Kauai and you'll see the mud.

The rain is often only temporary. The sun often shines again after just a few minutes. In the morning or around noon it is often rainy, in the evening it is beautiful again.

Precipitation occurs mainly on the east and north coast of the islands, concentrated with a strong wind. In the west, on the other hand, there is little precipitation. There are only 9 rainy days per month on the entire islands and even these have a very pleasant temperature of around 20 degrees. Such summer rain is usually very refreshing.

The climate in Hawaii is almost constant all year round. In summer it is a sunny 29 degrees, in winter, on the other hand, the temperatures rise to 26 degrees. Even at night they stay at 23 degrees, so that you can take a suitable walk on the beach even in the moonlight. This is not only refreshing and yet warm enough to linger, but also a helping of romantic. Summer and winter alike, the temperatures stay at 22 or 23 degrees at night.

So if you go hiking and brave the rain every now and then, you are in the right place in Hawaii during the winter months. Here the sun does not shine quite as mercilessly from the sky as it does with sunbathers and surfers in summer. The currents are then harmless in all areas of the islands.

Strong storms only occur in winter, while hurricanes are rare. Only in mainland America are these more common. The climate here is very balanced and always summery.

Conclusion on the best travel time for Hawaii

We love the benefits of the off-season. The beaches are emptier, and the prices for flights and accommodation are cheaper. That's why we went to Oahu, Kauai, Maui and the Big Island before the main season in December.

The most favorable months for Hawaii are April through June, September and October. Then it is the most empty and the weather is best. You can find a climate table for Hawaii on this website. Based on the average temperatures and the rainy days, you can see at a glance what the optimal travel time is.

The best time to travel to Hawaii is from May to October. Then there are the fewest rainy days and you can see the beaches as they are shown in the numerous books and brochures. Endless sandy beaches, lined with thick and shady palm trees and azure blue ocean. The sun shines from the sky and gives visitors the feeling of having landed in paradise. The sunsets are then magically beautiful. We weren't always lucky enough to do this in winter. The weather in summer is of course more ideal for this.

FAQ on climate and weather

Is there a rainy season in Hawaii?

There is a Rainy season in Hawaii. Most of the precipitation falls between November and March. Especially in December and January there can be prolonged rainfall on all islands. On Kauai as early as November. Floods can then occur. In the rainy season it rains very heavily, but often only for a short time.

What is the climate in Hawaii?

Due to the location in the tropical zone and trade winds from the northeast, the temperatures are warm but moderate.

The central islands (Maui, Molokai and Oahu) are on average warmer than the outer islands (Kauai and Big Island).

When is Hawaii cheapest?

I think January, April, mid-September, October and November through mid-December are the most favorable months for Hawaii.

Do you have any other tips for Hawaii?

Leave a comment at the end of the article. Maybe you have already been to Hawaii and tell me your favorite month and the best travel time?

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