There are two big questions people tend to ask before deciding when to come to Hawaii:
1) When is it coldest where I live?
2) When is the weather best in Hawaii?
In a lot of non-tropical climates, the winter season coincides with the rainy season in tropical climates. Hawaii is no different – rainy season is typically November to March. But there is good news! Even Hawaii’s “rainy season” isn’t too much rainier than the rest of the year, and a lot of my clients have come here during the rainy season and not reported any rain at all.
Incidentally, the reverse is true: you can still get rain even in the “dry season” – remember, these are the tropics we’re talking about! The good news is that it’s generally a warmer rain that you’re used to, and often only rains in little spurts rather than 3 days in a row.
How to Deal With Hawaii’s Rainy Season
If you are planning on traveling to Hawaii and are concerned your vacation might get waylaid by a bit of precipitation, there are a a few things you can do:
1) Pack lightweight clothing that dries quickly. Because you are packing for Hawaii, chances are whatever you were thinking of bringing will already fit the bill. But think lightweight, even for sweaters and pants. A pair of nylon pants will dry much more quickly than a pair of jeans, not to mention pack up smaller and weigh less.
2) Choose to stay in less rainy areas. Some parts of our islands get a lot more precipitation than other parts. For example, the south shore of Maui tends to get less rain than the north shore of Kauai. But the amount of rain even varies within the borders of each island, like on the Big Island, where Kailua-Kona on the western side sees only about 30-40 inches of rain a year and Hilo on the eastern side sees upwards of 120 inches a year. (Of course you should still go visit areas that get more precipitation, but if you want to stay dry, just check the forecast first.)
3) Look on the bright side. A lot of things are cool about the rainy season in Hawaii – waterfalls are bigger, fuller, and much more impressive. Some waterfalls totally dry up when it’s dry but turn into gushers when it rains! Tropical rain also can feel warm and soothing, the perfect relief from the hot sun. Or, if you want, rain is the ideal excuse to get off the beach and go find some fun Hawaii rainy day activities. And, as they say, you can’t get rainbows without rain! We see rainbows here in Hawaii all the time, much more than on the mainland, but of course it has to rain first!
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