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What Do Tourists Need to Know About Maui Weather

By December 18, 2023 No Comments

Rainbow off the coast of Maui

When people picture Maui, they probably think of sunny beaches and a sparkling ocean. They may think of tropical rainforests. That describes the area pretty well. But did you know that Maui also has most of the microclimates found on Earth? And in light of that, what do you need to bring to be comfortable? We think there are three keys to being prepared for Maui weather.

  1. Sun Protection – The sun is strong no matter where you go on Maui. Protect yourself from Maui’s strong rays with reef-safe sunblock, hats, sun shirts, and beach umbrellas. Auntie Snorkel can help you load up on sun protection.
  2. Water Readiness – Rent Spring Suits and Thermal Tops to stay comfortable longer in surprisingly cooler waters. This is especially good for children, but adventurous adults can do more if they stay warm.
  3. Layers – Bring layered clothing, and a light rain jacket in the winter. Even if you’re only staying close to the beach, evening winds can feel chilly year-round.

With these tips in mind, here is an overview of some general weather trends to prepare you for areas you might want to visit while you’re on Maui.

South Maui Weather

Climate Types of HawaiiSouth Maui (including Kihei and Wailea) weather is generally sunny. The rainiest months are December and January. Still, we are only talking about 2.6 inches in Kihei. The chance of rain declines in the spring, is nearly flat in the summer, and starts to rise again in the fall. Isolated showers are more common than rainy days.

Temperatures dip into the 60s in the winter, but highs can be in the low 80s. During the summer, the top temps can reach 88, but the lows won’t dip as low. If you want to escape the heat, ask our staff where to go. We sell activity tickets for van tours and rainforest ziplines.

While there can be variation, the predominant wind pattern in South Maui is calm in the morning, and windy in the afternoon. So, most days it’s best to plan to do your South Maui beach activities before noon, and go exploring later in the day.

West Maui Weather

West Maui (from Olowalu to Kapalua) weather is similar to South Maui, in that it’s generally sunny and dry. Northwest Maui can see more isolated showers, where the lower west side will stay more dry. Like South Maui, the winter months bring the greatest chance of rain, while the summer can be dry to the extreme.

Mean Annual Rainfall for HawaiiSummer temps can get quite hot, averaging in the upper 80’s but frequently reaching the low 90’s in the heat of the day. Winter months can see lows in the mid 60’s, while the day time still warms up to the low 80’s.

Winds can be a little more unpredictable in West Maui, as the ancient West Maui Mountains provide shelter from the wind to some locations, but amplify the wind at others. Some days, the wind stays calm in West Maui all day, while on other days, the wind is strong and gusty from before sunrise. Still, the general pattern for West Maui follows that of South Maui: calm winds in the morning, breezy in the afternoon.

East Maui Weather

But what about the Road to Hana? Well, Maui’s north shore and east side are in Maui’s windward side. That means these areas get much more exposure to our trade winds, and much more rain. That’s why these areas are so green and lush, like a tropical rainforest.

Temperatures in East Maui will stay slightly cooler, with summer highs averaging in the low 80’s, lows in the upper 60’s. Winter months will see highs in the upper 70’s, and lows in the mid 60’s.

Mean Annual Temperature for HawaiiIt definitely rains quite a bit in East Maui! The region can average over 100 inches of rain per year. But this doesn’t mean that there aren’t beautiful, sunny days to enjoy. The summer months will bring the least chance of rain, while fall through spring is generally the rainier season. Just be sure to check with local weather forecasts when planning your Road to Hana trip in order to avoid being in the area during heavier rainfalls, as flash flooding and landslides are not uncommon.

Upcountry Weather

The Upcountry area of Maui includes Makawao, Kula, and the Haleakala summit region. This area has a little bit of everything: hot, cold, wet, and dry. You’ll notice less palm trees and more Eucalyptus and Pine in Upcountry Maui. Also, you’ll probably notice that the air gets a little thinner as you gradually rise up to a peak elevation of 10,000 feet at the summit of Haleakala!

Haleakala Crater with snow and ice

Haleakalā Crater with snow and ice.
NPS Photo/Zane Kesecker

Temperatures can really vary widely in this region, depending upon your elevation. A general rule of thumb to follow is for every 1000 ft. in elevation gain, the temperature will drop about 5 degrees Fahrenheit. In the summer months, Kula temperatures do get warm, with highs averaging the upper 70’s to low 80’s, and lows in the low 60’s. Winter months bring highs to the low 70’s, and lows to the mid-low 50’s. Of course, if your elevation is even slightly lower or slightly higher, the average temperature can change a lot. Haleakala summit, at the most extreme, sees highs in the low 50’s at warmest and lows in the low 30’s at coldest. It even snows up there on occasion! If you want to see the crater from above, we recommend a helicopter tour which we can schedule for you.

Winds Upcountry are less predictable than at lower elevations. The trade winds out of the east typically don’t make it up through the higher slopes of Haleakala, so there’s less wind on a daily basis. However, when the wind shifts out of the south (“Kona winds”) or an unusual storm moves through the island chain, Upcountry Maui can get some of the strongest winds on the island.

Ocean Temperatures in Maui

Wetsuit rentals on MauiJanuary, February and March are the coolest months in the waters of Maui, with sea surface temperatures averaging around 75°F/23.8°C. As the air starts to warm up, the waters slowly warm up in response. In June and July, when temperatures are at their highest, the water is generally about 78°F/25°C, making it perfect for Molokini snorkeling. In August and September the water gets warmest and may be 80°F/26.6°C.

Water temperatures may feel pleasant because they tend to be close to the warm air temperature. However, many people find that they appreciate an extra layer when spending a longer time in the water, such as when snorkeling. Children are especially vulnerable to a chill and may need a thermal top to keep them warm longer. Thermal tops and spring suits have other advantages, too. They make a person more buoyant, giving you extra help when floating. Also, they protect some of your skin from the sun. We offer a low rate for a weekly rental when you order online.

Maui Has Weather for Everyone

Long story short: Maui’s many microclimates mean that nearly everyone can find their happy place here! From balmy tropical beach weather, to brisk high elevation landscapes, and deserts and rainforests in between, Maui offers so much for your whole family to explore. So, pack your layers and come see us at Auntie Snorkel to get all the gear you need to have a safe, enjoyable time on Maui.

SeasonOcean TempLowsHighsRainfall
Winter (Dec/Jan/Feb)
74-76 °F
23-24 °C
1.8-3.5 in.
Spring (March, Apr, May)75-77 °F
23-25 °C
1.1-1.8 in.
28-45 mm
Early Summer (June, July)77-78 °F
25-25.5 °C
0.1-0.2 in.
2.5-5 mm
Late Summer (Aug, Sept) 79-85 °F
26.1-29.4 °C
0.2-0.3 in
Fall (Oct/Nov)77 - 79 °F 25-26.1°C68°F
1.1-2.2 in

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About Mark Noble

Auntie Snorkel shop has been serving Maui’s fun seekers for over 33 years, established in 1985. We are the original South Maui Snorkel Shop. When I bought the shop ten years ago from Auntie we decided to keep the name. The name Auntie is a term of respect here in Hawaii. I am living my dream. I get to meet awesome people from all over the world and share with them my love and knowledge of this magical island I get to call home. We know all the spots. I have lived here since 2001. We are the true definition of a family owned and operated shop. I answer the phones and work the shop along with my family. When you shop with us you are supporting my ohana and for that I thank you!! Why go anywhere else? We are the friendliest, fastest, cheapest and our location is the most epic! Mahalo and Aloha.

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