Ah Yes, The Weather…

You all know my love for warm tropical weather.  It’s the reason I moved from the gloom of the north east to Florida and eventually out here in the middle of the Pacific.  I love the tropics and all it’s warm, humid, rainy, sunny comfort has to offer.  If the first couple weeks here on Maui are any indication, I have found weather Nirvana at last.  It’s hard to describe but I will try.

70 to 90.  Remember those numbers.  Here where I am the temperatures ranges between a low around 70 to a high near 90…every day.  I don’t know yet if it will drop down much more come winter but I sorta kinda doubt it will get too cold.  The humidity is high, up near 90% but it doesn’t feel near as humid as it does in Florida.  There always seems to be a breeze coming from somewheres, off the water, down from the mountain, or across the valley.  Just enough to take the bite out of the humidity and make it pleasant.

Here in the apartment, we leave the windows open all the time, day and night.  A ceiling fan in the room provides more than enough to cool down.  I have had no need nor want for air conditioning.

We had some pretty hard rain which from what I have been told is rare on this side of the island.  Normally, the west side of Maui is considered the lee side.  Not much heavy winds and rarely does it rain.  Thunder and lightning are rarities.  The rain we had was due to a passing tropical system.  The lee side is very dry with almost desert conditions in some places.  Winds are light and the ocean stays somewhat calm with not a lot of heavy surf.

On the other side, known as the windward side, it’s a completely different story.  The trade winds blow in from the ocean all the time creating large surf, which is good for the surfing community, along with tropical rains.  So this side has the thick tropical rain forests, flooding, and landslides from all the rain.  Temps are still about the same.

Go up the mountains and things change considerably.  You can rarely see the tops of the mountains because of the cloud cover.  It gets much more colder and at the very top, at 10,000 feet, snow will appear in winter.  I’ll stick to the bottom land thanks.

Hawaii has it’s share of major weather events.  Pacific hurricanes form all the time and frequently come close or hit the islands.  Said storms form off the coast of Mexico and unlike Atlantic storms, there is nothing in the way to slow them down.  So these storms are usually more powerful than other storms.

Down to the south, on the Big Island there are active volcanoes with the occasional eruption.  These eruptions produce volcanic fog, known locally as vog.  Vog will come in occasionally and cause some problems.  Hawaii has the most cases of asthma in the country thanks to vog.  One upside, said vog will enhance sunsets producing interesting colors.  Haven’t seen them yet.

Sometimes the eruptions will cause earthquakes but so far these appear to be minor and only felt on the Big Island.  One interesting fact, earthquakes which occur in other parts of the Pacific, depending on their intensity, may trigger tsunamis which can travel from as far away as Japan and cause damaging wave action here in Hawaii.  There are tsunami warnings in place for just such an occurrence.  Where I am currently residing is above the tsunami line so not to worry.  Apparently if you own property within said line, your insurance goes up considerably.

Despite all these weather events, for the most part, it’s partly cloudy, lots of sun, beautiful blue skies, reasonably warm temps, and not too much humidity, at least by my standards.  You can get by wearing the same clothes you would wear in the Keys, light weight, light in color.  Shorts all the time, I even picked up a nice pair of hiking sandals to get around in.  My regular hiking shoes are just too heavy for here.  A wide brim hat comes in handy and a good pair of sunglasses and you are all set.  (From what I understand, the infamous Hawaiian shirts are rarely worn by the locals except as business uniforms.  A shame because I love those shirts.  Used to wear them all the time when I worked in the motorcycle shop.)

The more better weather to me is the kind of weather where you don’t even notice.  You get up in the morning, you know it’s nice out, and you don’t have to adjust your schedule or dress or anything else because of the weather.  This is the kind of weather I am experiencing out here right now and it’s fantastic.  No worries about cold, sleet, hail, nor snow.  No dragging out winter clothes and storing the summer stuff away.  It’s perpetually nice all the time and exactly what I have been looking for, lo, these many years.  I’m hoping winter here is no more than a mild change of a few degrees from what it is now.  No more cold fronts, no freezes, no ice except in the drinks.

If it stays like this all the time, I will be perfectly happy with it.

Capt. Fritter