You’re planning your dream vacation to the beautiful island of Maui; but as the date to departure gets closer you may be wondering what you can expect when it comes to the weather and sea conditions of this beautiful remote island. One of the biggest questions that we get from our guests is “does Maui get hurricanes?” The answer may surprise you…
Does Maui Get Hurricanes?
While hurricanes are not rare in the pacific; Maui hasn’t had a hurricane in over 100 years. This is because of the unique climate and location of the island in juxtaposition to the other Hawaiian Islands. Hurricanes tend to come from the East and usually hit the Big Island before being downgraded to tropical storms.
This doesn’t mean that Maui is void of any rainy or windy weather. Maui has a rainy season like most tropical isles and the storms on Maui that result from passing cyclones have been known to cause flooding, heavy rains, and high shore breaks.
The past few years, the most common affect created by passing hurricanes was a calm weather bubble along the west coast of Maui, stilling the sea and wind, making it the ideal conditions for being on the ocean.
What Is a Tropical Storm on Maui Like?
The rainy season on Maui usually lasts from November to March; which does align with Whale season here on the island.
The most severe storm to hit Maui in years was in 2018 with Tropical Storm Olivia. Other than that you really have to plan your vacation around where you are staying. Because Maui has 6 climates and microclimates, you could in the span of a day travel through tropical rain forests, dry deserts, and up to the mountains. (Did you know that Mount Haleakala gets snow)?
If you do chose to come to Maui during the rainy season or are staying in an area of Maui that gets frequent rain; the best thing that you can do to prepare for a tropical storm is to make sure that you know how to get to higher ground and away from the coastlines, check the NOAA radio station for weather information and actions, and make sure that you have a plan to leave if staying near an area with running water.
Does Maui Get Other Severe Weather?
As stated previously, Maui has encountered cyclones. These are different from hurricanes as they are downgraded and less severe. Many people ask: “Even if Maui doesn’t get hurricanes, do they still get typhoons?” The short answer… no.
Typhoons are only in the western half of the Pacific Ocean, Maui and Hawaii as a whole is located in the Eastern half. This is a small difference in classification.
So, what do you do if you are visiting Maui and you are notified that there is a cyclone or possible hurricane inbound? According to the government website and the National Weather Service, South Pacific, make sure that you are following the same procedures as with any severe weather, cyclone, or tropical storm: get away from coastlines, flood areas and plains, and regularly check for updates on the weather station.
Don’t Let Hurricane Season Prevent Your Maui Vacation
While there is always a small chance of weather like hurricanes, cyclones, and tropical storms that could pass through Maui, the odds are slim and not worth postponing the trip of a lifetime. Just like the town or city you live in, weather changes and because Maui is an island the best way to stay informed is to check local ocean weather like NOAA and Passage Weather or talk with locals.
Maui and the residents of the island are very responsible and prepared for weather events. Most local businesses and agencies have action plans to make sure that you will have a safe and enjoyable experience and will postpone activities should there be incumbent bad weather approaching the island. Rest assured, any weather changes will be communicated with you by your tour provider if there is a chance it will affect your activities.
Now that your hurricane questions are answered, you can sit back, relax and enjoy the beautiful island of Maui.