- There are 13 climate zones on Earth. The Big Island has all of them except the Arctic and Saharan. Pressure variations, rainfall, wind, elevation and topography combine to create distinct variations across the island. Some of the climates you may encounter in Hawaii are humid tropical zones, arid and semi-arid zones, temperate zones, and alpine zones.To fully appreciate this you must experience it. Within one day on the Big Island, you can travel through rainforests, snow covered mountain tops, deserts and beaches.
- You may experience Vog while visiting the Big Island. Vog is produced from a chemical reaction between sulfur dioxide gas emissions of the Kilauea volcano and sunlight, oxygen, dust particles and water in the air. It creates a hazy atmosphere. Daytime onshore breezes and nighttime off shore breezes move the vog back and forth across Kona. Visitors to the Big Island who suffer from chronic diseases such as emphysema and asthma should consult with their doctors before visiting.
- Hilo, on the windward side, is the wettest city in the United States.
In one recent year, Hilo had a record 211 inches of rainfall.
- Winter to summer temperatures on the Big Island differ only about 4 to 8 degrees.
- The temperature at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is usually around 60 degrees. The summits of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa are typically about 30 degrees cooler than the coastal temperatures.
- Hawaii's hurricane season runs from June to November, but hurricanes are fairly infrequent. The last major hurricane to hit Hawaii's Big Island was Estelle in July of 1986.
- Following the devastating Hawaii tsunami of 1946 that struck Hilo, a tsunami warning system for the Pacific basin was developed. The system constantly monitors seismological and tidal stations throughout the Pacific. Tsunami warning sirens are tested on the first day of each month around noon.