Maui has been experiencing drought like conditions over the last couple of months after an exceptionally dry late winter, spring, and early summer. Much of the rain fall that has hit the islands has fallen in drier areas away from our watersheds. The abundance of sunshine has been enjoyed by visitors and residents alike, but rain is needed. Yesterday, Maui returned to a normal trade wind pattern. The trade winds brought welcome showers. I was pretty happy to see, hear and smell rain coming down on Maui’s North Shore last evening. Showers passed through the area during much of the night and into the morning.
Rain comes in many different forms in Hawaii. While Eskimos are renowned for their many words to describe different types of snow, the Hawaiian language has an even greater number of words to describe different types of rain. The over 100 Hawaiian words for rain account for intensity, duration and direction and rain. I have seen all kinds of rain in the time that I have lived in Maui. It ranges from the lightest mist that hardly gets you wet to the most torrential of tropical downpours. Usually trade wind showers tend to be brief and of light to moderate intensity. Last nights showers showed greater intensity than usual. Conditions in the atmosphere allowed cloud tops to reach greater heights than usual. The higher the cloud tops, the greater the potential for harder rain. It came down hard enough last night that a few showers were able to wake me from what had been a steady sleep. It wasn’t hard to go back to sleep though as the rain made for soothing background music.