It’s Best To Come In Out Of The Rain.
We get something like eight million visitors a year here in Hawaii and they all step off the plane expecting perfect weather. It usually is, too. Typically, the high temperature in the summer months will be in the upper 80s with the trade winds blowing at 8-10 miles an hour. In the winter, the average afternoon temperature is maybe 6 or 7 degrees cooler.
Hurricanes used to be quite rare here, but were very bad when they did show up. Now–for whatever reason–there are a lot more of them and, even when they miss us by several hundred miles, they bring rain and a great deal of it. That means the grass is growing so fast, I’m mowing our lawn and the pasture almost once a week now. The norm for that has been every two weeks.
There’s a serious downside to all this rain: flash floods. These islands are volcanic and literally hundreds of narrow gulches run down the steep slopes. Heavy rains at 7,000 or 8,000 foot levels can turn dry stream beds far below into raging torrents. It can come suddenly and not infrequently there are tragic results. Best case scenario: no one dies and people are rescued.
It is true, though, that even in a normal winter, meaning January, February and March, we can get a lot of rain. Honolulu TV stations will send reporters and cameramen into Waikiki after five or six days of heavy rain to grab random interviews with tourists. Almost all of them go like this:
Reporter: You’ve spent thousands of dollars on a once-in-a-lifetime Hawaiian vacation and we’ve had 14 inches of rain in the past week. How do you feel about that?
Tourist: Are you kidding? Do you have any idea what the weather is like back in Buffalo today?
I don’t know what the weather has been like where you are, but it’s been weird here in Hawaii for many weeks now. For one thing, there are all the hurricanes. We’re still feeling the after effects of the third one to brush by us–Or is it it fourth? I’m losing count–and now we’re being told that another one is on the way. Swell.