Local weather

Rain falls at Upolu, Hawaii
The sun shines on the Kohala coast

Yesterday, I posted a photo of clouds over Upolu. Sometimes, those clouds do what clouds often do, which is dump a load of rain. When that happens, my drive down to the airport looks like the top photo. It also means that walking on the coast there will not be pleasant. Rain is one thing, but it turns the dirt roads into cloying mud and I end up with sandals weighing five pounds more than when I started.

However, such is the nature of the weather here that, most of the time when this happens, I can drive seven miles down the coast and walk there in bright sunshine as in the bottom photo.

Where I live in Hawi, we get around 60 inches of rain a year. Upolu, about three miles away to the north, gets about 45 inches a year. The spot in the second photo receives less than 20 inches a year. The abrupt differences in rainfall are down to the northeast trade winds bumping into the Big Island’s volcanoes. The windward sides of those volcanoes get lots of rain topping out at a whopping 280 inches a year just north of Hilo. The leeward side of the island is much dryer with the South Kohala shore, where the resorts are, receiving less than 10 inches a year. The northern tip of the island, where I live, is a transition area where the shoulder of Kohala Mountain runs down to the sea. I always tell anyone thinking of moving here to check the isohyet map. A half mile east or west, or a half mile up or down the mountain, can make a world of difference to the weather they’ll be living in.

Posted in response to Becky’s April Squares challenge theme of ‘Bright.’ See more responses here.

17 thoughts on “Local weather

  1. Pingback: Whatever the weather | Graham's Island

  2. Marsha

    Those are some drastic changes. WOW! 280 inches a year. Where I lived in CA we got about 10 or less per year. So how much rain do you get in the transition area where you live, Graham?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Graham Post author

      60 inches a year here, but mostly it rains and then the sun shines. Even on the east side, where it rains most, a lot falls at night so they still get quite a bit of sun.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Graham Post author

      Plenty of rain, but then the sun comes out, which is what I like. I get more than twice as much rain here as where I used to live in Washington State, but rarely those never-ending grey, grey skies.



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