Hawaiian Climate Zones

There are 11 of the 13 worldwide climate zones active somewhere on the Hawaiian Islands.  So, really, when you visit Hawaii you’ll have the opportunity to visit and experience a vastly different climate from spot to spot, if you so choose.  Or, you can just stay warm on a beach and by the water.

Each of the 11 climate zones is completely different in ecosystem and characteristics.  Such things as elevation, rainfall, wind, topography and air pressure variations all factor in to setting the uniqueness of each zone.


If you’re aiming to do some mountain climbing or volcano seeing, then be prepared for cooler temperatures at those higher elevations.  Generally, you can count on a 3.3 to 3.6 degree fall in temperature for every one thousand feet of elevation.  So, if it’s 78 degrees Fahrenheit on the beach, then you can count on 74 to 75 degrees at 1,000 feet above.

Even though the 11 climate zones are spread out in different areas of the state of Hawaii, and you may have to search for them if you trying to experience them all, don’t worry there is nothing bland about the weather here.  Each of the Hawaiian Islands has all of the primary climate zones which include:  tropical rain forest, desert, temperate and tundra climates.  You’ll get a nice array of weather on any island you visit on your Hawaiian vacation or during your move to Hawaii.

Time Zone of Hawaii

This is one of the better parts about Hawaii, in my opinion.  Hawaii has its own time-zone (rather, it shares one with Alaska), but we just refer to it as Hawaiian Standard Time.  Hawaii doesn’t do the whole “daylight savings time” thing.  That’s for the mainlanders who are worried about time and in a hurry…we’re chill.  The time behind the mainland will vary depending on whether daylight savings time is in effect or not.

Daylight Savings Time on Mainland:

Hawaii:  3 hours behind West Coast and 6 hour behind the East Coast.

Not During Daylight Savings Time:

Hawaii:  2 hours behind West Coast and 5 hours behind the East Coast.

Different Places on the island:  Windward and Leeward

Which side of one of the Hawaiian Islands you’re on can really make a big difference the weather as well, especially the current weather.

Windward side:  The side of the island that faces east, named after the trade winds that blow in from the northeast.  This part of the island is usually cooler.

Leeward side:  Less wind and rainfall make the leeward side dryer and warmer.

humidity in hawaii

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Hi, I'm Ken. I moved to Hawaii with my family in January of 2014. We love it here and want to share all the awesome things we do. We hope that one day you'll be able to move to Hawaii and live the dream with us. Island Life: Living the dream. Loving Life. Happy to be here!