Hawaii is home to some of the most diverse climates in the country. The annual rainfall on one side of the Big Island may be double the amount on the other side; the highest peaks of Maui can even experience snow in the winter months. But when it comes to August, except for occasional stormy weather brought on by hurricane season, Hawaii is sunny almost every day.
If you’re a beach bum who likes to spend every day with your toes in the sand (with ample sun protection, of course), then August will be your time to shine. If you’re not a fan of hot weather or the threat of humidity, you may want to consider saving your Hawaiian vacation for the wintertime.
The state celebrates the summer with many different events and festivals in August, as well as Statehood Day towards the end of the month. Though it’s impossible to accurately predict the weather, especially in a tropical climate in the middle of the ocean, getting a general idea of weather patterns will help make your trip planning a little easier.
Hurricane season runs each year from the beginning of June to the end of November. While a hurricane making a direct hit to the islands is rare, the months of August and September are the most likely to develop storms and temperamental weather. If you find yourself in Hawaii during a hurricane warning, consult with your accommodations and have an emergency plan in place for your family.
Hawaii Weather in August
There may be a range of different climates depending on which island you’re on, but for the most part the summer months (May to October) in Hawaii will average about 85 degrees F. Specifically in August, the temperatures tend to be higher than the rest of the year, so keep that in mind if you’re planning to travel. It is also worth noting that although Hawaii is overall more dry in August, hurricane season may bring some unexpected rain.
Trade winds blow from the northeast across the island chain and are often weaker during August. Generally, the southern sides of each island are drier year-round. The ocean temperatures will average at about 80-85 degrees F, about 15 degrees warmer than off the west coast of the continental U.S. As a rule of thumb, the waves tend to be larger on the south sides of the islands in August as well.
It will feel more humid the farther you go into the tropical rainforest climates on the Hawaiian islands, but as August tends to be one of the driest months it is therefore one of the least humid overall. Rainfall levels in August are typically low, about .5 inches on Maui, 2 inches on Kauai, 1 inch on Oahu and .6 inches on the Big Island. Daylight hours in Hawaii don’t change very much throughout the year.
What to Pack
August in Hawaii is hot, usually the hottest month of the year in fact. Temperatures in certain places can reach up to 90 degrees F during the month, and if the trade winds have died down it can get muggy on top of that. You’ll be safe packing a light rain jacket or umbrella just in case of stormy weather, but in general, a bathing suit, shorts, sandals and t-shirts will be all you need.
August Events in Hawaii
August in Hawaii is a great time to celebrate with different festivals and events. August marks the middle of the summer season in Hawaii when the nights are warmer and the days are slightly longer.
- Comic Con Honolulu: That’s right, Hawaii has its very own Comic Convention! Located at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu, Hawaii Comic Con is a family-friendly celebration of all things comic books, costumes, sci-fi and fantasy.
- The Joy of Sake Honolulu Festival: The biggest celebration of sake outside of Japan is held in the heart of Honolulu. Taste some of the world’s best sakes and sample food pairings from local restaurants.
- Made in Hawaii Festival: Enjoy the best locally-made food, clothes, gifts and jewelry from around the state all in one spot.
- Heiva I Kauai: Watch award-winning performers at Hawaii’s largest Tahitian dance and drumming competition.
- Annual Seed To Cup Coffee Festival: Join the Maui Coffee Association at the Maui Tropical Plantation for a day honoring delicious Maui-grown coffee and the industry leaders who grow, roast and sell it.
- Hana Cultural Center & Museum Ho’olaulea: Celebrate Hawaiian music, history and culture at the Hana Fairgrounds.
- Don the Beachcomber Mai Tai Festival: Lovers of Mai Tais will not want to miss this annual festival at the Royal Kona Resort.
August Travel Tips
- The school year in Hawaii typically begins in early August, meaning the state begins to quiet down as kids and families clear the beach and get back to reality after summer break. The only downside is that this can negatively impact traffic.
- Businesses close throughout the islands on the third Friday in August each year to celebrate Statehood Day, the day Hawaii became a U.S. state.
- Since August is usually one of the driest months, the waterfalls throughout the islands tend to be a bit smaller than in wintertime when rain is more likely.