The island of Kauai is beautiful, there’s no doubt about that. Whether arriving for a short visit or a permanent move, people understand they have stepped into true paradise. Nice words about the island aren’t needed for those who are already here.
However, people who have never visited Kauai can sometimes be skeptical. What’s the weather like? Does it rain constantly? Is it way too hot and humid? Will I be able to enjoy my time there?
The short answer is that the weather is just fine. It’s not perfect, but can you name one place on the planet that is?
Let’s examine what the climate of Kauai is like.
Two Main Seasons
You’re probably used to having the weather broken down into four seasons (spring, summer, fall and winter), but the native Hawaiians did things a little differently. They only had the need for two seasons: Kau and Hoo’ilo.
The first one, Kau, was the warmer season. The sun was more directly overhead, and the winds were flowing in a nice way. It was generally from May to October.
The other, Hoo’ilo, was when the sun was more to the south. The trade winds weren’t as smooth, and other winds were disrupting them. This one went from November until April.
So next time you’re wondering which season is best to visit the Garden Island, try to skip thinking about it in the terms of your four seasons. Instead, translate it to the local language, and take your first step towards becoming an islander!
Temperatures Throughout the Year
For most people, the seasons aren’t as relevant as what the temperature is during the year. It probably won’t come as a surprise that August is the warmest period with an average high of 85° F, but it has almost identical temperatures in September. As far as the coldest month, it’s again fairly normal with a low of 65° F in January. Overall, the average temperature really only changes about 10° F throughout the year. If you’re comparing that to many other areas, the weather is just fine.
Islands Do Have Rain
If you’re guessing that Kauai might have some rain, then you’re right. But, what island doesn’t? The good news is that it generally has showers that don’t last very long, and they often come at night. Even if the forecast for an upcoming week says rain every day, it’s likely that it will only be showering for part of that time. It isn’t the type of climate that precipitates for weeks straight.
Also, another bit of good news is that due to the unique geography of Kauai, the island has a few different climates. The amount of annual rainfall increases towards the center (which is the reason for so many beautiful waterfalls), and it often rains on one corner of the island while another is sunny. So, if you wake up to a rainy day, consider hopping in the car until you reach some sunshine! And keep your camera ready, because you’ll definitely spot some rainbows.
The Humidity is Manageable
The most challenging weather aspect of Kauai is probably the humidity. The average level throughout the year is around 70%, so don’t expect a lot of dryness. But, try to focus on how green the plants are because of the weather, and remember that you won’t mind when you’re snorkeling!
You’ll Usually See Some Sun
Given all the rain, it’s a logical fear to think that too much time on Kauai will be spent in the rain. However, try to focus on the fact that the showers are short, and the weather changes frequently. There are quite a few purely sunny days, but even the ones with rain often have some periods where you can catch some rays.
When to Visit
Unfortunately, there’s no magic formula to tell you when is the best time to visit Kauai. Statistically speaking, July and August are the months of the year with the highest temperatures and lowest amounts of rain. On the other hand, that means a lot of visitors come to make things more crowded.
The opposite time of the year is the period from December to March or April, because that’s when the temperatures are lowest, and the amount of rain is highest. But, even for those times of the year, it’s worth comparing it to where you live. The average high in January is around 78° F. What’s it like in your hometown? Just keep in mind that a lot of people use this logic, so the island is still pretty busy with visitors during the winter months in the Continental United States.
Following all this logic, there isn’t a bad time to visit Hawaii. Summer and winter have different weather patterns, but both draw crowds, so the months in between are the best time if you’re interested in being more isolated.
You Won’t Be Disappointed
No matter what the weather is like when you visit Kauai, it’s unlikely that you’ll be disappointed. A little rain keeps things beautiful, the humidity is motivation to go for a swim, and the sunny days are straight out of a dream.