The island of Maui is made up of numerous different sub-climates. Depending on where you are, the weather can act in a multitude of ways. For the most part, each area has a general weather pattern.
Below we've listed the weather that each part of the island typically holds.
Maui Weather by Region
Because of the warm ocean airflow, the West Maui Mountains get a lot of rain. The Iao Valley rarely sees a day without some kind of precipitation. Wailuku Town is located over here as well as some of Upper West Maui like Honolua Bay. All of these areas are lush and green due to the near-constant wet weather. If it is raining, check out things to do when it rains in Maui.
Similar to the South of Maui, most of the leeward side of West Maui is located on lower ground near the coast. This area is warmer, sunnier, and drier than the rest of the island. We do notice that Lahaina town tends to get a little more rain than Kihei area in comparison. The further up you go in West Maui, the more wet it will get. You'll find the landscape becomes more diverse and lush. In the summer, the west side of Maui is subject to wild brush fires from the dry heat.
The central valley of Maui encompasses Ma'alaea, part of North Kihei, and Kahului. This area is dry and windy. Maui is made up of two huge mountainous regions with a valley between it. The valley is home to mostly sugar cane fields, and is usually sunny between the cloudy mountains.
Leeward Haleakala consists of South Maui and most of Up Country Maui. South Maui is home to Kihei, Wailea, and Makena. These areas get the least amount of rain on the island. This isn't saying that it doesn't rain. Some parts of Makena and Wailea get more rain than others, and Kihei's Maui Meadows gets more rain and is cooler than the lower parts of Kihei. Generally, the higher in elevation, the cooler it gets, and Maui's elevation changes drastically within miles of itself. Certain portions of Makena have a constant stream of clouds flowing in a strip from Kahoolawe to the crater summit. Southern parts of Big Beach (Makena Beach) are covered by this cloud formation frequently. Upcountry Maui is much cooler and wet than South Maui. The elevation is considerably higher here, which is conducive to more rain and colder air. The ancient Hawaiians who lived on this side of Maui would travel up the slopes to the upcountry during the summer and live in South Maui for the rest of the year.
The windward side of Haleakala is home to Hana and everything on the Road to Hana. This area is the wettest because of Haleakala's tall slopes. Trade winds are responsible for blowing in moist air from the ocean, which Haleakala deflects up its slopes. Once the saturated air cools with altitude, it rains. This is the same for the windward side of the West Maui Mountains. The leeward sides of both these mountainous regions are blocked from the rain and get very little precipitation. The Windward side of Haleakala have rain over 3/4 of the year. When you drive the Road to Hana, you'll most likely get wet at one point or another.
The Summit of Haleakala is a completely different world. With the look and feel of our moon's landscape, the crater of Haleakala is vast and high. Towering to over 10,000 ft, Haleakala Crater regularly reaches below zero in temperature and has on occasion even snowed. Dress warmly when visiting this area, and remember to do this especially when you go on a helicopter tour of the crater. If you're planning on catching the sunrise or sunset at the summit, keep in mind that it is cloudy more often than not. If it's clear, you'll have a view like no other. It feels as though you're on top of the world, and in reality, you are!
Maui Weather Cycle
Click the image to enlarge.
From the crater at Haleakala's summit, you can watch Maui weather being made. On a typically warm day, trade winds carry moisture-laden air up the northeast slopes of Haleakala. As the moisture rises, it cools and condenses into the cloud layer that frequently rings the mountain.
Rising warm air often pushes the clouds up through Ko'olau Gap and Kaupo Gap. As the evening air colls, the clouds drain out of the valley and the cycle begins again.
Haleakala influences weather all around the volcano. Average annual rainfall varies from about 400 inches (1,000m) in the high-elevation rain forest above Hana to 10 inches (25 cm) in Kihei, only about 15 minutes apart. Because temperatures drop about 3.2F (1.3C) every 1,000feet (305m), the summit of Haleakala is roughly 32F (13C) cooler than the beaches.
Average Maui Weather by the Month
December, January, February
These months have the lowest temperatures for the year. Keep in mind that it's still plenty warm in many areas. With regular showers, these winter months are home to the wettest Maui weather of the year. In January, tradewinds only blow half as much as they do in the summer. Throughout the winter, generally from November to March, large North Swells create big surf on our North and Northwest facing beaches. The ocean temperature is approximately 75 F, and the air temperature averages between 65-80 degrees F depending on which area you're in, and closer to 64-79 degrees F in Hana.
You'll find Maui summers to be the most crowded with visitors because it's hot and dry. By now Hana has caught up and is warmer at times than the rest of the island. June is extremely dry for Maui and trades blow almost always. With most of Maui at 69-87 degrees F, you'll find it sunny and warm most everywhere. One of the major pluses in the constant Trade winds is there tendency to cool things down. Be wary of the sun! With the wind comes a disillusionment of how hot the sun really is on your skin. Wear sunblock on exposed areas at all times. You can be out for just 5 minutes and turn into a lobster.
These months on Maui are the pinnacles of summer heat. This is often the most humid of the summer months. Maui ocean water temperatures are from 79 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Maui air temperatures are from 70-80 degrees F depending on the area. Hana begins to get cooler and drops to between 70-84 degrees F during these last summer months. The Pacific Ocean sees Tropical Hurricanes within these months, but are rarely close to the Hawaiian Islands.
are transitional months on Maui from summer to winter. With a little rain, a few degrees in temperature, and an occasional storm, Maui's winter begins to step in. Average temperatures are from 68-88 degrees F and 68-83 F in Hana. Ocean temperatures are between 77 F and 79 F in October and November. Keep in mind that the winter in Maui really isn't a traditional winter. The differences between seasons in Maui are not all that significant relatively. Weather differences on Maui are more strongly noticed by location on the island than by what time of year it is.
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