Big Island Weather Forecast
As with the other Hawaiian Islands, Big Island weather boasts an attractive climate that will leave any traveler smiling ear-to-ear. When you think of Hawaiian weather, you may think of warm, sunny days and mild, breezy nights. It’s true: sometimes, realities don’t meet expectations. But on the Big Island, they do—so warm, sunny days and mild, breezy nights are exactly what you’ll get!
Due to Trade Wind patterns, there are just two seasons on the Big Island, though both are surprisingly mild. The winter, which lasts from November through May, features lows just above 60 degrees Fahrenheit and highs in the upper-70s. The summer, while warmer, is definitely not scorching; the average low is a picture-perfect 71, while the average high hovers in the mid-80s. In other words, temperatures rise about ten degrees from winter to summer.
Big Island Weather
That’s not to say, however, that weather patterns are simplistic. Not at all. Due to the Big Island’s highly variably topography, from sea level to the 13,000-ft.-tall summit of Mauna Kea, and winds that affect the coastlines differently, there are quite a few microclimates. The Kohala Coast in the northwestern sector of the Big Island is extremely sunny and dry, receiving a maximum of just 10 inches of rain per year! Thus, the Waikaloa area is an excellent place to stay, with many options for tourists that like arid climates. Nearby to the south is the northern Kona District and Kailua Village, which is also extremely temperate, being predominantly sunny and dry.
By contrast, you may prefer something a little more lush and wet. If so—and this is typical on the Hawaiian Islands—then try moving northward and especially eastward. Clear on the other side of the island is the Town of Hilo. In addition to being the most populous settlement on the Big Island, it holds the distinction of being the wettest major city in the US. On average, it receives more than 120 inches of rainfall per year!
For cooler weather, head inland. Here you’ll find rapid elevation gains, especially as you drive up the slopes of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. On average, for every 1,000 ft. you gain north of sea level, the temperature drops nearly four degrees. That being said, if you intend on visiting Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, as most tourists do, pack appropriately. With elevations north of 10,000 ft., it can get downright frigid here, even during the summer months. And exercise particular caution if you intend on visiting them during the winter, since blizzard conditions are not infrequent.
Though Big Island weather patterns are highly variable on the Big Island, one constant is the Pacific Ocean. The waters off of the coastline are famous for being a warm and inviting 70-to-80 degrees. To put this in perspective, the legendary beaches of Southern California usually feature water temperatures in the 60s—not bad, but inferior to those found on the Big Island. Suffice it to say, conditions for swimming, snorkeling, and surfing are perfect!
In a nutshell, that’s Big Island Weather. Temperatures are consistently warm on the coastline and cooler in higher elevations, while rain patterns are variable, ranging from negligible in the west to prevalent in the east. So plan accordingly, and get ready to experience the many faces of paradise.
For information about Big Island Activities, click here, big-island-tours.us