The first half of July has brought some pretty unusual weather for Maui. Traditionally, July is a month of steady trade winds. The prevailing trade winds from the Northeast help cool the islands from summer heat and tend to bring light rain showers to the windward sides of the island. The leeward sides of the island receive some of the breeze, but none of the precipitation as the mountains shield these areas from almost all moisture.
This July we have seen a month of opposites. The trades have been light to non-existent. No wind has meant almost no rain for the windward sides of the island. On a typical July day, the West Maui Mountains are usually draped in clouds most if not all day. The winds stack clouds on the mountain’s flanks and brings ample moisture to the water shed. This pattern makes Pu’u Kukui a summit in the West Maui mountains one of the wettest places on earth. As you can see from the pictures below, the mountains have been almost cloud free.
This is a picture Billy took this morning around sunrise. There is nary a cloud in the sky
This is a picture I took yesterday while driving to South Maui. It is pretty rare to see so few clouds over the West Maui Mountains during the middle of the day in the summer
The lack of wind, has allowed for the development of cumulus clouds on the lee sides of the mountains. These clouds have been generating showers falling on parts of the Upcountry like Ulupalakua. Many of these showers are spilling over into the leeward areas of the island falling on usually dry areas like Wailea and Makena.
A summer downpour falls on the usually arid lava fields south of Makena in La Perouse.
It looks like we will be going back to a more traditional summer weather pattern in the next few days. We may even see a little extra tropical moisture hitting the windward sides of the island.