Hawaii is an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean. This volcanic island chain provides fantastic surfing, memorable cultural experiences, and tropical forest hikes – in addition to once in a lifetime oceanside views. However, as they say, every rose has its thorn. For Hawaii, that thorn is hurricane season. In 2020 the season started with hurricane Douglas. Usually Hawaii expects between 3-6 hurricanes per year.
Let’s talk about how hurricanes can impact your vacation plans and the best ways for travellers to prepare.
When is the Hawaii Hurricane Season?
In Hawaii, hurricane season lasts from June 1st to November 30th. However, August and September are peak hurricane months for the island chain.
During hurricane season, the Pacific Ocean does see a number of tropical storms and hurricanes. However, the Pacific spans more than sixty million square miles, so the chances of these events impacting the Aloha State are not especially high.
Additionally, Hawaii lies on the edge of a deep ocean trench, providing water temperatures which are hostile to hurricanes. Tall volcanic peaks can also slow down a hurricane if the storm reaches one of the islands.
Is Hawaii Likely to be Hit by a Hurricane?
The last time Hawaii encountered a hurricane directly was Hurricane Iniki in 1992 which hit Kauai. Thankfully, only six people lost their lives, but this event did cuse over three billion dollars in damage.
Even if a hurricane doesn’t make landfall on any of the islands directly, it can still cause strong winds, powerful rainfall, and high waves.
Hawaii is more likely to encounter hurricanes arriving from the south, but its cooler waters can wreak havoc on hurricane systems approaching from other directions – particularly the east. If a hurricane encounters this cooler water, it can still harm the island, but may be weakened and become downgraded to a tropical storm.
While there is no way to predict the future, meteorologists can analyze ocean temperatures and wind patterns to estimate hurricane strength and likely behavior.
Vacationing in Hawaii during Hurricane Season? What you MUST know to be safe!
If you are on vacation in Hawaii and a hurricane is on its way, do not panic! The Department of Emergency updates their website frequently. Check their website to find latest updates on hurricanes in Hawaii. Check out the video below to get some useful tips on how to stay safe during a hurricane in Hawaii.
Can I Travel During the Hawaii Hurricane Season?
Yes, you can travel during the Hawaii hurricane season. If you plan to do so, keep these tips in mind:
- Watch what meteorologists are saying about the coming season
- Be prepared to adjust your plans in case of predicted hurricanes
- Ask your hotel accommodations what their emergency plans are, and be prepared to follow them if needed
Hawaii hurricane season is an important consideration when planning your vacation, but with proper research and an adaptive attitude, you will be able to enjoy Hawaii without worrying too much about seasonal weather patterns.