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With its tropical location in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, Hawaii is known for its warm, sunny weather and picturesque beaches. If you’re wondering what the weather is really like on the islands, read on for a complete guide.

If you’re short on time, here’s the key thing to know: Hawaii has warm temperatures year-round, with daily highs averaging around 85°F. Sunny conditions prevail, although rain is common on certain parts of the islands.

Hawaii’s Tropical Climate

Warm Temperatures

Hawaii is known for its consistently warm and pleasant weather all year round. The average daily high temperatures range from 78°F in the winter months to 88°F in the summer (source). The cooler temperatures occur at higher elevations, while the coastal areas remain balmy.

Thanks to the moderating effects of the surrounding oceans, temperatures rarely drop below 65°F or rise above 90°F.

The warmest months are typically August and September. During these months, highs average 84-88°F across the islands. January and February are often the coolest months, with average highs of 78-83°F. But even in winter, it’s warm enough to be out enjoying the islands’ gorgeous beaches and lush landscapes.

Sunny Days

In addition to warm weather, Hawaii sees sunny conditions for most of the year. On average, Honolulu enjoys 277 sunny days per year. Other islands like Maui and Kauai see 260+ sunny days on average (source).

The sunniest months tend to be May through October, while December, January and February are often the cloudiest. But even in winter, the islands see their fair share of blue skies and bright sunshine alongside passing showers.

Rainfall Patterns

The Hawaiian Islands have a tropical climate characterized by distinct wet and dry seasons. Hawaii’s rainy season generally runs from November through March. During these wet winter months, increased rainfall feeds lush vegetation growth across the islands.

In contrast, Hawaii’s dry summer season runs from May through September. During these months, rainfall decreases significantly. For example, Honolulu averages just 1 inch of rain in June, compared to 11 inches in January (source).

However, the rugged landscape of the islands creates microclimates that vary from place to place. The northern and eastern sides of the islands tend to be wetter, while the southern and western sides are typically drier.

Weather Variations By Island


Oahu enjoys warm tropical weather year-round, with average highs of 80-90°F. However, the weather can vary across different parts of the island. The north and west sides tend to be drier, while the windward east side receives more rainfall.

The famous North Shore sees larger winter swells from October to April, which is prime surf season. Oahu has microclimates ranging from sunny beaches to tropical rainforests.


Maui has very diverse geography, leading to unique microclimates. The famous Road to Hana on the lush, jungle-covered east side sees frequent rain showers, while the leeward west side is dry with beaches that rarely see clouds.

The Upcountry area has cooler mountain air, and Haleakala Volcano even sees freezing temps and occasional snowfall! No matter where you are on Maui, the weather is comfortable enough for exploring.

Big Island

Sprawling across different climate zones, the Big Island boasts 8 out of 13 total global ecosystems. While the Kohala Coast offers reliably warm weather, the heights of Mauna Kea see winter snow. Hilo and the windward side frequently experience passing rain showers, contributing to the tropical paradise vibe.

Volcanoes National Park also has varying weather due to elevation changes across lava fields, rainforests, and volcanic peaks. On the Big Island, you may encounter several types of weather in one day!


Called the Garden Isle for its lush tropical terrain, Kauai sees more rainfall than other islands. However, total annual rainfall varies widely across different spots, ranging from 30 inches in Poipu to over 400 mountainous inches in Mount Waialeale.

While Poipu and the south shore maintain reliably warm and sunny weather, the north shore’s rainy and isolated Napali Coast sees occasional tropical storms. Bring an umbrella and be prepared for passing showers when exploring Kauai!

No matter which Hawaiian Island you choose, the weather will most likely include warm temps and passing showers that make for rainbows over tropical paradise. Check forecasts regularly as microclimates vary. Pack layers, sun protection, and raingear so you can fully enjoy island life! Aloha!

Best and Worst Times to Visit Hawaii

High and Low Seasons

Hawaii has peak travel seasons that bring larger crowds and higher prices and slower seasons that have smaller crowds and cheaper rates. The high season generally runs from mid-December through March and June through August.

During these popular times, flights and hotels fill up fast and rates can be double the cost of low seasons. The spring and fall shoulder seasons see fewer tourists and more deals. Low season runs from September through early December, when the weather is still nice but larger crowds have left.

Monthly Temperature and Rainfall Charts

Hawaii enjoys warm temperatures year-round, thanks to its tropical location. However, rainfall patterns shift through the seasons:

  • The winter is generally Hawaii’s rainiest time of year, especially on the north shores. Expect brief passing showers and stormy weather from December through February.
  • Springtime from March to May brings fewer storms, along with pleasant 70-80°F temperatures.
  • Summer is hot and dry. June through August see bluebird skies, with temperatures in the 80s. The chances of rain are low.
  • Fall cools things off a bit. September through November expect daytime highs in the 70s or 80s and a slight uptick in rainfall.

According to climate data from Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, here are average temperatures and inches of rainfall throughout the year:

Month Avg High Temp Avg Low Temp Avg Monthly Rainfall
January 79°F 62°F 4.72 in
February 79°F 62°F 4.06 in
March 80°F 63°F 3.58 in
April 81°F 64°F 2.28 in
May 82°F 65°F 1.85 in
June 83°F 66°F 1.10 in
July 83°F 68°F 1.77 in
August 84°F 69°F 2.40 in
September 84°F 69°F 2.83 in
October 83°F 68°F 3.11 in
November 82°F 67°F 3.39 in
December 80°F 65°F 4.40 in

As you can see, temperatures stay incredibly pleasant and stable year-round. However, wetter winters do see 5-7 inches of rain monthly, so pack rain gear if visiting Hawaii in winter. Meanwhile, the dry summer months of June-August get 6-8 hours of daily sunshine and minimal chances of showers, making it a great time to enjoy the islands’ famous beaches.


With its signature tropical climate, Hawaii offers reliably warm and mostly sunny weather nearly every day of the year. While temperatures remain fairly constant across the islands, rainfall patterns do vary.

Planning your Hawaii vacation for the drier summer months will maximize your chances of sunny beach days.

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