Does Hawaii Have Seasons?


A standard stereotype that people have about Hawaii is that there are no seasons. I’ve even heard some people say they would get “island fever” if they could not see the changes of the four seasons. The beauty of the Big Island is that there are seasons, and winter is definitely one of them. Due to the high elevations of the volcanic mountains, compared to the other Hawaiian Islands winter on the Big Island is very different.

Kona Snow | Coffee Blooms Mimic Snow | Kona Joe Coffee

Significant Seasonal Changes on the Big Island

Starting in November, the first thing you notice is a drop in temperatures. For instance, Kailua-Kona’s daytime temperatures drop into the low 80s or 70s and at night temperatures drop into the 60s. Depending on the elevation of where you live, you may actually need more than one blanket at night or perhaps even a fireplace.

Island-Style Fireplace at Ke Kailani | Mauna Lani Resort | (MLS# 271968)

The most significant seasonal change that no other Hawaiian Island has is snow. There is nothing like sitting on the beach or paddling with snow-capped Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa standing tall in the background. It is a mesmerizing sight no matter where you are viewing it from. When there is snow, the entire island experiences a drop in temperature. If you are not cool enough and need more of a winter experience, just head to the mountains for a fun day in the snow.


View of Mauna Kea from Mauna Loa | Photo Courtesy of Ian Lindsey Photography

In addition to the change of temperature, each season experiences seasonal flower blooms. When mainland residents think of poinsettia, they think of going to the local florist to buy a few in pots. Here on the Big Island, during the winter months just before Thanksgiving hedges of poinsettia and fields of white coffee flowers go into full bloom.


Historic Anna’s Ranch with Poinsettias in Full Bloom, Kamuela, Hawaii

Another winter indicator occurs in our beautiful ocean. The calm, flat, and warm summer water conditions completely change into exciting wave-powered energy. Water temperatures cool, the giant winter swells roll into the Big Island’s coastline, and the Humpback whales return to birth their young. The ocean comes alive during the winter months. Living oceanfront during the winter months is a special treat.

Watch Whales and Winter Swells at 49 Black Sand Beach | Mauna Lani Resort (MLS# 276792)

One of the Most Wonderful Times of the Year

Although the seasonal changes are subtle here in Hawaii, they do exist. Sometimes it just takes being here for a little while for you to notice the seasonal changes. You may come to agree that winter on the Big Island is one of the most wonderful times of the year.