Kauai weather is what makes this Hawaiian island the "Garden Isle." The climate incorporates all the variables of a lush, tropical island. Some spots are very rainy; others are almost desert-like. Parts of Kauai are breezy, others are calmer. While the weather varies, it is usually delightful in winter or summer.
General Outlook for Kauai
Kauai's climate is generally pleasant and temperate. It does rain frequently, but the showers are usually short and often at night. Temperatures are mild and comfortable. Water temperatures for swimming or surfing range from 73 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter to 80 degrees in the summer.
Kauai Weather by Region
Based on its weather, Kauai can be divided in five regions. Each region has distinct differences from the others. While all regions are subject to a daily rain shower, some are briefer than others. The amount of storms and wind also changes by region.
The coastal north section of the island is on the windward side of the island. This means that this area receives more tropical breezes from the trade winds. These winds are a mixed blessing; while it cools the region down during the summer months, it also brings in more rain. Kilauea, on the northernmost tip, receives up to 45 inches of rain a year.
Since the trade winds come in from the northeast, this part of the island is also on the windward side. Its weather is similar to the coastal north, but with less annual rainfall. It has cooling breezes and some rainy days. The Lihue area receives up to 44 inches of rain each year.
On the leeward side of the island, the coastal south is more sheltered from the trade winds. It is sunnier with less wind, and consequently, less rain. Poipu, on the southern tip of the island, receives up to 34 inches of annual rainfall. This area also receives the most severe storms, called Kona winds. These heavy rainstorms usually occur during the winter months and rarely in the summer months.
This is the driest area of the island. Similar to the coastal south, the coastal west is on the leeward part of the island. It, too, is a recipient of the winter Kona wind storms. Kekaha, on the western coast, receives around 20 inches a year of rain. This is less than half the coastal north
The volcanic interior of Kauai receives more rainfall than any other place on Earth. Mount Waialeale receives over 460 inches of rain a year. This heavy rainfall does not occur during a monsoon-type season, but is evenly distributed throughout the year.
Climate by Season
Truly a tropical island, Kauai has only two true seasons. Summer runs April through October. This is the driest time of year for Kauai weather. The average high temperatures during this time are between 79 and 84 degrees Fahrenheit. Lows are usually 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit. July through September are the warmest of the summer months.
The Kauai winter runs from November through March. Average highs are 77 to 80; lows are between 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Winter is the rainiest season for Kauai.
If you're planning a trip to Kauai, you may want to find the forecast. Several websites offer both current conditions and forecasts:
- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
- County of Kauai Weather and Surf Forecast
- USA Today Weather Forecast
- The Weather Channel
- Find Local Weather
The Garden Isle of Kauai is beautiful, with green forests, wonderful beaches and spectacular scenery. Much of this beauty is directly related to the weather. While a rain shower may occur from time to time, it is part of the tropical experience. Enjoy Kauai and all it has to offer, including its climate.