Brrr! Hawaii Gets Cold!

Seventy degrees in Hawaii is considered cold.

And as funny as that sounds, it’s actually quite the shared sentiment among islanders. You’ll see people bundled up in winterwear – boots and all – or warming their chilled fingers on a steamy Starbucks beverage. Little do you know, well, for me anyway – we secretly love this lifestyle.

A coconut mocha adds a tropical twist to those chilly days in Hawaii.

For those of you on the mainland who long for that beautiful spring day when your fingers and toes completely defrost…please don’t think I’m crazy for saying this, but the isles’ nippiness is a nice switch from the hot and muggy weather we’re used to. It’s similar to how you might get tired of being cold; we’re over being hot, particularly after those long bouts of dead winds.

I’m not complaining about living in paradise; it’s just that change is welcomed from time to time, and when it’s a change in the weather, well, Hawaii embraces it…with scarves and beanies and our fuzziest pajamas. It’s mostly because we know the weather’s only temporary. In a few days, we’ll be back on the beach, soaking in the rays with as little clothing as possible.

The chilly north winds are usually to blame and leave us shivering in our boots (or slippers). They warrant an extra blanket and a good book to snuggle up with before bed; hot cocoa and comfy socks make the night even cozier. Those in higher elevations or deep in a valley know this drill all too well. On Oahu, the Makakilo and Wahiawa areas can dip to the low 60s at night. And still, you’re chuckling, right?

OK, how about this: 25 degrees on top of Mauna Kea, with a “chill factor” of 30-mph gusts. It’s the kind of winds that creep into your coat and down your back before sinking into the soles of your shoes. It’s the Freezing Charm, in the world of Harry Potter, that immobilizes living targets. It’s something I never want to fall victim to again.

Mauna Kea is more than 13,000 feet in elevation and can get as cold as 25 degrees at night.

Last year, I could barely watch the sun come up on Mt. Haleakala because of the unbearably cold weather. If it weren’t for the windy gusts whizzing past me and through my trembling body, then I probably wouldn’t have been such a big baby! I got one picture of the peaking sunrise before sprinting to the warmth of our rental car and turning on the heater at full blast. At that moment, I wished for a warm and sunny Hawaii.

Posted by: Bruce Fisher