What’s Up With Hawaii’s Wet Side and Dry Side Weather?

January 9, 2008 by
Filed under: Hawaii - general, Vacation Planning

Also I read that there is a dry side and wet side. That sounds real weird but is it that different on the sides of the island, and why?


There is a dry side and a wet side of every island – generally east and north shores tend to be wet while south and west tend to be dry. It has to do with the way the wind comes in off the ocean (trade winds, usually comes in from the east). The clouds blow in, get pushed up the mountains that are in the center of every island, and dump all their rain before getting light enough to head to the other side of the island – something like that. If you are really interested read more here at wikipedia.

Generally the more popular destination spots like Waikiki, Kailua-Kona, Poipu, and Kaanapali get very little rain because they are on the dry sides. Puako on the Big Island can get 7 inches or less rain a YEAR – that’s like desert. Great for vacationers cuz they are not looking for rain usually 🙂 Compare that with Hilo (where I live) where it seems like sometimes we can get 7 inches in a day and still not cancel soccer practice. lol.


2 Comments on What’s Up With Hawaii’s Wet Side and Dry Side Weather?

  1. Jay on Sat, 5th Feb 2011 3:08 pm
  2. Mahalo,

    My wife and I are thinking about a move to Hawaii. We have 2 girls 10 and 12,
    and are tired of the mainland rat race. We have friends that have places of their own on the BI. How feasible is this? How difficult will it be for my kids to fit in?
    Work in the area?

  3. Lisa on Sat, 5th Feb 2011 7:28 pm
  4. Hi Jay, well, anybody can do it. I did it 16 years ago. My husband and I bought a place in Paradise park on an acre for $85,000. We lived there for 10 years and then sold and moved to Hilo … and then we sold again and now we are in Idaho :).

    Houses in paradise park will cost double that now, but if you’ve got the money, you can do it. There’s not a whole lot of work on the Hilo side, but my husband and I always worked. There’s a bit more in Kona – more expensive there too though.

    As for your kids fitting in … if they are white, they may have issues in public school. There are charter schools though, and private schools. Or they may be fine. Nothing’s a given 🙂

Tell me what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!