When does Hawaii have its best weather? Some tips for travelers.


HAWAII Magazine reader Bill Parker wrote us with a question about our sun and surf :

What are the best months, weather-wise, to visit Hawaii? I also would like to know the water temperatures for Honolulu and the island of Kauai.
You ask. We answer.

Rarely is there “bad” Hawaii weather—high-pressure zones and resulting tradewinds make Hawaii’s climate consistently temperate.

While it’s impossible to predict the weather, know that annual trends in Hawaii’s average temperatures aren’t that different from the rest of the country: Warmer temperatures come during the traditional summer months of June through September, while the winter season of December to February means cooler climes.

Don’t believe us? Take a look at the chart below—compiled from data collected by the National Weather Service in 2008.

Average Monthly Temperatures for 2008 (in degrees Fahrenheit)


  Honolulu, Oahu Kahului, Maui Kona, Big Island Lihue, Kauai
January 73.5 68.9 74.3 71.4
February 74.8 68.6 74.6 73
March 77.3 71.7 76.5 75.3
April 77.2 74.3 77.1 74.2
May 79.2 76.2 77.2 76.4
June 80.4 77.4 76.5 77.6
July 82.2 78.5 79.8 79.3
August 81.6 79.2 79.6 80.7
September 80.4 78.1 79.1 78.5
October 79.7 77.9 79.7 77.7
November 77.2 74.9 77.4 74.2
December 75.3 73.5 75.7 72.5

As you can see, the greatest climate change during the year comes between the summer and winter months. In places like Kahului, Maui, the decline in temperature is as much as 10 degrees Fahrenheit—dropping from an average temp of 79.2 in August to a chilly (for Hawaii) 68.9 average in January.

You won’t need an overcoat for our brand of cold weather. Still, we suggest packing extra layers—as temperatures can drop another 10 degrees at night.

Hawaii’s water temperatures mirror climate trends—expect warmer temps in the summer and cooler in the winter.

According to data from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Association (NOAA), the warmest water off Honolulu can be found from July to September—averaging 80 to 81 degrees Fahrenheit. However, Honolulu water temperatures drop to only 76 degrees in January, according to NOAA.

Click here for a complete list of water temperatures from NOAA-monitored stations across the state, updated daily. Or, click here for water temps across Hawaii in Google Maps form.

Bottom line: If you’re looking for the warmest climate and ocean temperatures during your next Hawaii vacation, stick to visiting in the summer.

But really, it’s great here all year, folks.

Categories: Culture, Travel Tips