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Hawaii Weather Patterns: Home

Examines wind and weather related to the movement and strength of air pressure systems.


Wind and weather are related to the movement and strength of air pressure systems. As climate rolls north and south with the seasons, Hawai'i experiences a range of tropical, subtropical, and midlatitude weather patterns, the most common of which are described below.

Weather Patterns in Hawaii 
Click the tabs above for an explanation of each pattern. In the pressure system models used in the lessons, the solid lines represent lines of equal pressure (isobars) and the arrows represent wind directions.

Remember, in the northern hemisphere, wind flows around High pressure centers in a clockwise direction and around Low pressure centers in a counterclockwisedirection.

- Dennis Nullet



large-scale wind pattern


the boundary between warm and cold air masses

Kona Weather:

warm, humid, calm weather with typical winds from southwest

Kona Storm:

an unusual winter storm, often lasting days with potentially heavy rain and high winds


atmospheric conditions favorable for rising air and deep cloud formation


a layer in the atmosphere where temperature increases with height. Common over Hawaii near 6000 to 8000 feet altitude.

Pressure Gradient:

isobars close together=strong wind, isobars far apart=light wind


a high pressure center

Synoptic Scale:

large weather patterns, say over a 600 to 1000 mile diameter area

Trade Winds:

common northeast winds


a low pressure center

Wind Direction:

winds are named after the direction they come from, so easterly winds come from the east, north winds come from the north, sea breezes come from the sea, land breezes come from the land, and so on.

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Content Created by: Dennis Nullet
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Last Modified: 02-Mar-2023 09:41 HST