Hurricane Season in Hawaii
Hawaii hurricane season for all the Hawaiian islands is from June through November, especially from July through September. Temperature and rainfall for each month of the year is at Maui Weather.
When were the most recent hurricanes in Hawaii?
The most recent hurricane to hit any of the major islands of Hawaii was Hurricane Iniki (see video below), which hit the island of Kauai September of 1992, right in the middle of Hawaii hurricane season. Maui has not been directly hit by a hurricane in over 100 years, though hurricanes and tropical storms that passed close to Maui have caused heavy rains and brief flooding several times. The most recent was in August 2018 when Hurricane Lane did not directly hit Maui, but passed close enough to cause damage from strong winds and heavy rain. Tropical Storm Olivia directly hit Maui in September 2018, but it was a tropical storm and not a hurricane at that time, and mostly caused a lot of rain and some downed trees.
According to CNN meteorologists, “close to Hawaii, dry air, cooler water and wind shear combine to weaken approaching cyclones, dissipating them before they can become a significant threat.” In addition, hurricanes in this area tend to come from the east, moving toward the west, so a hurricane has to pass the Big Island of Hawaii in order to get to Maui. When it passes the Big Island, the large volcanic mountains there (Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa) help to break up the winds somewhat.
What about Typhoons and Cyclones?
A typhoon is a hurricane in the western half of the Pacific Ocean. Hawaii is not in the western half, so it does not get typhoons. A cyclone is a hurricane or typhoon, or a lesser storm that may develop into a hurricane or typhoon.
Do you have to worry about Hawaii hurricane season when you plan your trip to Maui?
Considering the fact that it has been over 100 years since Maui has been hit directly by a hurricane, the chances are very slim of one occurring during your Maui vacation. There are other weather factors that require more thought. The most rain is from November through March, though you can usually avoid most of it by choosing the best area to stay in Maui. The hottest months are June through October, so you’ll want to be sure to choose an air conditioned hotel or condo, at least during that time of year.
See video and satellite photos below.