Honolulu, Hawaii

Climate

Honolulu, Hawaii

7 factors That Determine the Climate of
Honolulu, Hawaii

Elevation

   Honolulu is right on the coast of the island Oahu. This means it is only 19 feet above sea level. The higher the elevation, the colder the temperature. Honolulu's temperature is fairly warm compared to most places because of their elevation.

Latitude

   Because of the location of Honolulu, the amount of sunlight they receive stays fairly similar throughout the year. Uniform day lengths result in small seasonal variations in incoming solar radiation and, therefore, temperature. On a clear winter day, level ground receives at least 67 percent as much solar energy between sunrise and sunset as it does on a clear summer day.

Topography

   Honolulu was originally formed from a massive volcano that eroded over time. This created mountains, valleys, bays and craters. These land forms have an affect on the climate. All of these land forms create many rainshadow effects. The topography also controls the urban growth pattern, causes cloud formation, and directs the rainfall runoff pattern. The mountains obstruct, deflect, and accelerate the flow of air. When warm, moist air rises over windward coasts and slopes, clouds and rainfall are much greater than over the open sea. In places sheltered by terrain, local air movements are significantly different from winds in exposed places.

Temperature

   Honolulu's temperature stays almost the same throughout the year. This is because of its location on the globe. Honolulu receives about the same amount of sunlight all year. The warm season lasts from June 27 to October 14 with an average daily high temperature above 86°F. The hottest day of the year is August 28, with an average high of 88°F and low of 75°F. The cold season lasts from December 11 to March 28 with an average daily high temperature below 81°F.

Nearby Bodies of Water

   The large Pacific ocean helps keep temperatures stable year round. The average January temperature only 8 degrees F cooler than its average July temperature. Also, near the water, it is cooler because of the ocean breeze. Hawaii is more than 2,000 miles from the nearest continental land mass. Therefore, air that reaches it, spends enough time over the ocean to moderate its initial harsher properties. Arctic air that reaches the islands, during the winter, may have a temperature increase by as much as 100 degrees during its passage over the waters of the North Pacific. Hawaii's warmest months are not June and July, but August and September. Its coolest months, are not December and January, but February and March, reflecting the seasonal lag in the oceans's temperature.

Ocean Currents

   Ocean currents pull cool water from the north and warm water from the south. This moves and distributes water and energy around the globe. The ocean current around Hawaii makes it a cooler climate than other tropical latitudes.

Precipitation

  Honolulu receives about 22 inches of rain per year. It is a tropical island that receives frequent daily showers that usually last only a few minutes.