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What's the Weather Like in Volcano?

posted Jul 5, 2014, 11:20 PM by Matt Hubner   [ updated Feb 18, 2016, 9:22 PM ]

I get this question a lot, and it's usually quickly followed with "when's the best time to visit with the best weather?"  These are not the easiest question to answer for visitors used to well-defined seasons.  Weather is very dynamic in the Volcano area.  The temperatures can range from the 70s to 80s in the daytime to the upper 40s in the winter evenings (spring, summer, and fall evening temps tend to be more in the 50s).   Days can be full of drizzly rain or completely sunny and clear.  The majority of days (and nights), however, are a mix of both.  

Kilauea's Glow from Hale Hubner Lanai


The above time-lapse above was taken from the lanai at our rental.  As you can see the video starts off slightly cloudy and there are periods of clear skies followed with more clouds.  This is quite often the case in Volcano, during the day or evening. However, there are times when the skies are perfectly clear as seen below.

Milky Way on a Clear Night at Hale Hubner


NOAA's Hawaii climate page notes that there are approximately two seasons in Hawaii "summer" between  May and October and "winter" between October and April.  Typically, the latter part of the summer tends to be "drier", but Volcano is located on the windward side of the island and at the right elevation for elevated rainfall year round.  This is why the surrounding forest of Volcano is so lush.  My advice to guests is often not to seek to arrive when the weather will be "best", but to accept that clouds and rain may be part of your experience in Volcano and the Big Island.  With the right preparation, any visitor can be ready to get out and explore the amazing sights of the Big Island, rain or shine, cold or hot.  In a separate post I will detail "what to pack", which includes some ideas for clothes and items that may enhance your expereince no matter the weather.

The following graphics are from City-Data.com's Volcano page and may be useful for those who like to crunch the the data in order to make their trip decisions:




The above information may be useful, but remember that the island of Hawai'i is extremely dynamic in its weather, as is Volcano; meaning you don't know what your going to get weather-wise. Don't let the possibility of rain and clouds daunt you.  Four of the five major climate zones can be found on the island as well as a majority of sub-climate zones.  If you wake up to rain or fog in Volcano, there's a good chance that it could be partly cloudy at the Park or completely sunny just a few miles down the road in the Ka'u desert or makai (down the mountain).  Weather reports can be typically confusing, and you will quickly learn that the best forecast on the Big Island is to step outside or look out the window.  That being said, this is a good link for current weather information: Weather Underground Volcano, HI.
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