If you’ve been watching the weather forecast, you’ll have noticed that we’re having cooler than normal weather here in Hawaii, and winter storms and flash flood watches. And if you’ve been here this past week…. well, you know how I say ‘it never rains in Kihei?’ We’ve had four rainy days this past week alone….
I promise you, it rains a lot less in Kihei than the rest of Maui. We average 8-11 inches of rain a year, which is not much. Usually we will get two or three decent rain days a year with a few showers thrown in for good measure. Why is this? The North shore and the Road to Hana get piles of rain… Kihei and Wailea are in Haleakala’s rain shadow. The clouds dump their precipitation on the other side, by the time they get to us, there is nothing left. Kihei is usually pretty brown except where irrigated. So yes, those of us who live here are excited about the rain and the dust it keeps down.
Is it miserable? Well, today for instance the sky is grey, it’s drizzling (West Coast folks would calls this liquid sunshine) and it’s in the mid-70s. You can still wear shorts and t-shirts. But please don’t go in the ocean during the rain and stay out until the water is not murky. Here is a blog I wrote a while ago with some rainy day ideas.
Forecasters will warn about flash-floods. We can have these when Maui gets heavy rain. It doesn’t necessarily have to be raining where you are, but can be raining heavily upcountry with the rain washing down the mountain towards the ocean. While this is usually not a big deal in South Maui, it most definitely is along the Road to Hana where they can see rock and mudslides and even road washouts.
Also, flash flooding can be a big deal if you’re out hiking, with water levels suddenly rising, you can end up stuck with no safe way back to your car.
If there are warnings about flash floods, do be careful and reconsider your travel options.
Where to get good reliable weather forecasts for Maui?
The County of Maui routinely issues warnings. Watch them and read them carefully – usually they do not cover the entire island.
MauiNow is another good source for Maui specific weather information.
Enjoy the overcast cooler weather. After all, it (almost) never rains in Kihei!