Hawaii Weather in December: What to Know About Winter in the Island

hawaii weather in december
Hawaii Aloha Travel > Blog > Hawaii Weather in December: What to Know About Winter in the Island

As winter’s chill arrives to your home, you’ll likely begin daydreaming about Hawaii weather in December. Or, maybe you’re lucky enough to be planning a trip here and wondering what to expect for your December Hawaii vacation. 

We’ve got you covered! Here’s an overview of December weather in Hawaii for those of you planning your holiday trip (or those of you wishing you were here!) 

Great Year Round Weather

One of the biggest questions about Hawaii’s December weather is if it will be nice. We’re happy to share that Hawaii has great weather year-round, and you can have a great tropical vacation in December. 

One thing to keep in mind is that Hawaii has many climate zones, and you’ll likely sightsee in cooler temperatures. But most hotel hotspots, like Waikiki or South Maui will be warm and sunny. And nearly all attractions, like Volcanoes National Park or Haleakala will be accessible in December. 

Temperatures on Each Island 

When we’re chatting with out-of-state friends, we tell them that typical winter temps in Hawaii reach the high 70s or the low 80s. But this is just based on observations. To get real Data, we turned to the National Weather Service, which has lots of detailed Data about weather trends. 

They confirmed our unofficial observations. Here’s what you can expect on each island: 


Honolulu County (Oahu) typically reaches highs of 82 degrees fahrenheit and lows of about 68. 


Maui’s sunniest areas (Kihei, Wailea, and Kaanapali) will see highs near 80s. Maui county temps don’t get above 65 in some locations in December, but that will be at high elevations. Lows are around 69 in the warm regions. 


December highs in Kauai range from 75-80 degrees fahrenheit. Lows will be around 65-70

Hawaii Island

On Hawaii Island, Kona highs can reach 85 degrees fahrenheit. Higher elevations may not get warmer than 68 degrees. Lows range from 43 to 71 degrees. 

Hawaii Rainfall in December

The Hawaii weather in December may be a bit wetter than in summer months. But most areas of the islands will see a small chance of showers. It’s usually just enough to begin turning the mountainsides green and maybe cooling off some warmer areas. 

Surf in December

Hawaii’s winter surf season runs about November through April. This is when big waves come into the northern and western shores of the islands. This means that North Shore beaches won’t be ideal for swimming. In fact, they may be outright dangerous. But they’re a great spot to watch brave surfers from shore. 

If you’re a beginner or intermediate surfer, you’ll be best on south shores. 

Dressing for Hawaii Weather in December

If you’re visiting in December, you should bring all your warm-weather essentials: shorts, swimsuits, tank tops, and light dresses. But bring layers too. A light sweater or denim jacket is perfect to throw on if you’re out in cooler temps. 

Bring your warm layers along if you’re exploring higher altitudes, like Haleakala or Volcanoes National Parks. We like to pack along blankets if we’re going to watch the sunrise or stargaze on top of one of Hawaii’s mountains.

December Activities 

You can do most activities in December – you just may need to be more selective about choosing your snorkeling spot or forest hike. And this rainier time of year means you need to be extra mindful of flash floods. 

But there are also things that are more fun in December. Here are a few best things to do in Hawaii’s winter weather:

  • Whale Watch: Humpback whales migrate to Hawaii in the winter, and December is one of the peak months for seeing them breach in the water. 
  • Big Wave Surfing: You likely won’t be participating in this dangerous and thrilling sport, but it’s fun to watch the experts tackle Hawaii’s winter waves. 
  • Christmas Activities: Many hotels offer special Christmas programs. It’s also fun to simply drive around and see the local homes decorated for the festive season. See Poinsettias growing along the roadside or palm trees draped in Christmas lights. 

Hawaii Weather in December: A Quick Recap

Of course, these conditions are just AVERAGES, meaning the weather during December in Hawaii could be substantially different, depending on the current microclimate. And, make sure you book your Hawaii activities with a reputable company, such as Hawaii Aloha Travel. The tour professionals there will make sure they inform you of any cancellations/delays in your activity due to inclement weather.