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.