Fall began with rain on Oahu today; rain heavy enough to require an umbrella for the morning trip to work or school. By mid-morning, the sun had reappeared although light sprinkles and mist fell intermittently throughout the day. Although the temperature variations are slight, it is beginning to feel different from summer.

The ancient Hawaiians pided the year into summer and winter. Around October each year, a four-month period called Makahiki began. This was a time of ritual gatherings, games and relaxation when warfare was forbidden.

For those who enjoy surfing in Hawaii, this is the beginning of the seasonal shift from the south shore to the north shore. The fabled big waves are a product of the winter months. It is warm enough to surf or swim comfortably year-round in Hawaii. The ocean temperature remains around 80 degrees in October, dropping to “frigid” temps of 76 in January, February and March.

Those wonderful water temperatures are some of what attracts whales to Hawaii each winter. They are not quite due yet, usually arriving in November or December. The peak numbers are between January and early April. Six to eight thousand whales are expected to visit Hawaii this winter.

That’s nowhere near the number of human visitors who travel to Hawaii each year. More than seven million people take a Hawaii vacation annually. Now, however, is a seasonal lull. School has started and it is not yet time for winter holidays. On my trip to the beach this Sunday, I noticed that it seemed calmer. Fewer people, less activity. The pace is more leisurely, even by Hawaii standards.

If you can get away, now is a great time to visit Hawaii, it is my favorite time of year here. It’s a relaxing respite when the leaves remain green and the tinge of gold comes from the sun setting on the beach.

(And if you’d like to be here for the winter holidays, it’s time to get arrangements made!)


  1. I always say when it rains in Hawaii just wait 10 minutes or drive to the other side of the island you usually can find sun in fact hawaii needs the rain we are a little dry right now 

  2. Its my favorite time of year in Hawaii too. The trade winds are back, less people, less lines and more room at the beach !

  3. I wish I knew what it was like to experience a Hawaii winter! Our winters usually include inches of snow with delays and closures every so often. I remember growing up and crossing my fingers for mass amounts of snow at night for a school closing or if nothing else a delay! The days went by much faster when you missed the first few hours.

    That is neat to hear about the surfers. I do not know how to surf, but that is one thing I wish to learn once we get to the islands. I have no idea where to begin, and I feel like I will be a slow learner, but I am willing to give it a shot. The last time I was there I saw people standing on surf boards paddling around the calm waters in Waikiki. That is more my style. But I would love to catch a huge wave and let the water take control.
    Thanks for sharing; I am excited to move from four variable seasons to two consistent seasons. I often wonder… have you ever seen snow?

  4. Oh, Ricky, I was born and raised in Kansas, moved to Hawaii from Colorado!  I've seen enough snow for several life times!  Seasons in Hawaii are subtle and gentle, not like harsh mainland winters or summers.  Aloha!

  5. ha!  last nightwas the very first night I reached for an additional layer in bed in the early morning to actually warm up a little.   didn't last long, but it does make for better slleeping.    I do miss the warmer water though… I just can't swim through fall and winter… skin too tender I guess  😉

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