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With its warm tropical climate, swaying palm trees, and sunny beaches, Hawaii is a quintessential summer destination all year round. But when exactly are the summer months in Hawaii? Read on to find out.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: In Hawaii, summer is generally considered to be from May to October, with the warmest and driest months typically being June through September.

Hawaii’s Climate

Tropical

Hawaii has a tropical climate year-round due to its location near the equator in the central Pacific Ocean. Temperatures typically range from 70°F to 90°F across the islands. The tropical climate also brings consistent trade winds, scattered rain showers, plenty of sunshine, and high humidity.

On average, Hawaii sees 250+ sunny days per year. With balmy weather and refreshing trade winds nearly every day, it feels like a perpetual summer in paradise.

Two Seasons

While Hawaii lacks distinct seasonal changes in temperature, it does have two separate seasons influenced by rainfall:

  • The dry season (May to September): Typically sunny skies with little rain besides brief pop-up showers. Drier conditions and fewer clouds make for excellent beach weather.
  • The wet season (October to April): More rainfall and cloud cover, though still warm and humid. The islands see occasional heavy showers and storms during this period.

So when planning your Hawaii vacation, keep the two seasons in mind. The most swimming and sunbathing weather occurs during the drier months. But the islands still see plenty of sun in the wetter months too.

Little Temperature Variation

One remarkable thing about Hawaii’s climate is how consistent the temperatures remain throughout the year. For example, Honolulu sees average highs ranging from just 80°F (January) to 88°F (August) annually. The nighttime lows in Honolulu only fluctuate between 65°F (February) and 75°F (August).

Month Average High (F) Average Low (F)
January 80 66
February 81 65
August 88 75

So while the mainland United States endures cold winters and hot summers, Hawaii remains eternally balmy. This tropical uniformity makes Hawaii an idyllic destination to escape extreme cold and heat.

Defining Summer in Hawaii

By Temperature

Summer in Hawaii brings consistently warm and sunny weather, with average high temperatures ranging from the mid-80s Fahrenheit on the islands’ cooler north shores to the low 90s on the warmer leeward sides. The cooler trade winds keep things comfortable.

High humidity can make it feel hotter than the actual temperature, but most visitors find Hawaiian summers pleasant overall.

By Rainfall

The summer months tend to be drier in Hawaii compared to the winter rainy season. However, the islands can still see occasional tropical showers during the summer. These passing rains help keep landscapes lush and tropical.

Summer rainfall is more common on windward sides of the islands that face prevailing northeasterly trade winds.

By Tourism

Summer is considered peak tourist season in Hawaii. The consistently pleasant weather draws visitors who want to enjoy the islands’ beautiful beaches, outdoor activities, and attractions. Family travel is very popular in the summer months when kids are out of school.

Hawaii’s summer festivals, concerts, food events also attract travelers. While summer crowds can impact some things, there are still quieter spots to be found.

Summer Weather in Hawaii

Warm and Sunny

Summer in Hawaii brings consistently warm and sunny weather, with average high temperatures ranging from the mid 80s to low 90s Fahrenheit. The abundant sunshine means days at the beach soaking up the rays are practically a given. Pack your sunscreen and hats – you’ll need them!

Occasional Rain Showers

While sunny skies prevail through the summer, brief passing rain showers can occur. These are usually light and short-lived – think a 15 minute afternoon shower. The rain keeps the islands lush and tropical.

And with the high temperatures, you’ll be dry again in no time to get back to beach going or sightseeing.

Higher Humidity

With the warmer summer ocean temperatures, expect some increases in humidity levels. While humidity may cause some extra perspiration, the ocean breezes provide a nice cooling relief. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids and seek shade during the hottest times of day between 10am and 3pm.

Increased Trade Winds

The cooling trade winds increase during the summer, which enhance the islands’ natural ventilation. The trades blow in off the Pacific Ocean from a northeast direction, keeping things pleasant by mitigating the higher heat and humidity.

Best Summer Activities in Hawaii

Beachgoing

The beaches in Hawaii are world-renowned for their golden sands, shimmering turquoise waters and awe-inspiring scenery. During the summer, heading to the beach is one of the top things to do. Visitors can bask on sun-drenched shores, swim in the refreshing ocean, play beach volleyball or just relax under a palm tree with a pina colada in hand.

Some of the best beaches for summer fun include Waikiki Beach in O’ahu, Hanauma Bay on the eastern shore of O’ahu, Ka’anapali Beach in Maui, and Punalu’u Black Sand Beach on Hawaii’s Big Island.

Hiking and Waterfalls

The lush tropical terrain of the Hawaiian islands offers exceptional hiking opportunities to see breathtaking waterfalls and scenic vistas. The famed Manoa Falls Trail on Oahu takes hikers through a bamboo forest dotted with guava and mango trees to a picturesque 150-foot waterfall.

Maui’s Road to Hana has abundant trails leading to cascading waterfalls like Twin Falls and Waimoku Falls. The Big Island impresses with the spectacular Akaka Falls, plunging over 400 feet into a stream-eroded gorge.

Snorkeling and Diving

The clear turquoise waters surrounding Hawaii provide exceptional visibility for snorkeling and SCUBA diving. During the summer months, ocean conditions are typically calm and ideal for first-time snorkelers and certified divers alike.

Top snorkeling destinations include Hanauma Bay and Shark’s Cove on Oahu and Kapalua Bay in Maui. For SCUBA adventures, popular dive sites are found off the Kona Coast of Hawaii’s Big Island. Here, divers can explore pristine coral reefs and sea arches or even do a night dive with manta rays.

Surfing

With a coastline that receives powerful swells and trade winds, Hawaii is widely considered a premier destination for surfing. Iconic North Shore spots like Pipeline and Sunset Beach on Oahu draw pro surfers and hardcore wave riders from November to March.

But the summer months bring fun waves to south facing beaches that are suitable for beginners too. Great beaches for learning how to surf in summer include Waikiki Beach, Diamond Head on Oahu and Cove Park in Maui.

Visitors can take lessons from expert instructors or seasoned locals who are happy to share their stoke for the sport.

Attending Local Festivals

From May through August, communities across the islands host a variety of local festivals that showcase Hawaiian culture, food, arts and music. Popular summer festivals include the King Kamehameha Hula Competition in June, Prince Lot Hula Festival in July, Queen Liliʻuokalani Canoe Race on Kona Coast in August and the Duke’s OceanFest held at Waikiki Beach in August.

Attending a festival lets visitors mingle with locals, support cultural traditions, feast on scrumptious grinds and experience the Aloha spirit firsthand.

Planning a Summer Hawaii Vacation

Best Islands to Visit

The Hawaiian islands of Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island provide breathtaking natural scenery and endless opportunities for adventure. Maui is known for its gorgeous beaches, epic surfing, and the stunning Road to Hana drive.

Kauai boasts the spectacular Na Pali Coast, Waimea Canyon, and some of Hawaii’s best hikes. The Big Island has Hawaii Volcanoes National Park where you can see lava flows, black sand beaches like Punalu’u, and excellent snorkeling at Kealakekua Bay.

Accommodation Tips

When booking accommodations in Hawaii, there are fantastic resorts but also more affordable condo rentals and Airbnbs. Look for places on or near the beach with amenities like beach access, pools, and restaurants. The number of bedrooms and bathrooms you need depends on your group size.

Reviews from previous guests can give great insight. Some key things to ask about are parking, WiFi quality, kitchen availability, AC, and cleanliness.

What to Pack

Visitors should pack light, breathable clothing along with bathing suits and beach necessities like sunscreen, hats, and sandals. Having one sweater or light jacket is a good idea for cool evenings. Be sure to bring reef-safe sunscreen to protect ocean life and any needed medications or toiletries.

Hawaii’s laid-back style means casual shorts, tanks, sundresses, and flip flops fit right in. Bring water shoes and your camera to capture gorgeous tropical vistas.

Getting Around

Renting a car is often the best way to explore Hawaii’s islands at your own pace. Many beaches, trails, and attractions are most easily accessible by car. Be aware that parking can be limited in some places.

Other transportation options include tour buses to popular sites, public buses, taxis, ride shares, or even guided boat, kayak, snorkel, and helicopter tours. Walking and biking are great ways to experience Hawaiian towns and beaches too.

Pack a reusable water bottle, sun protection, map, and wear good walking shoes.

Conclusion

While summer weather persists year-round, the warmest and sunniest months in Hawaii are typically from May to October. With pleasant tropical temperatures, fewer rainstorms, and fun outdoor events, summer is arguably the best time to soak up all that Hawaii has to offer.

Whether you prefer relaxing on the beach, chasing waterfalls, snorkeling with sea turtles, or exploring Hawaiian culture, planning your Hawaii trip during the summer months promises sunny adventures and lasting vacation memories.

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