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Kauai Weather in Winter

Kailua, Hawaii
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698 posts
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Kauai Weather in Winter

This forum has many posts that say “It rains more on the North Shore than in Poipu in the winter.”

There’s no doubt that’s a true statement. There are lots of statistics to prove it - total rainfall by month, and daily tabulations of rain-gauges.

I have never been to Kauai’s North Shore in the winter, but I live each winter in Kailua, Oahu, and that caused me to wonder “Just how much more rain, and how/when does it arrive?”

I know that most rain in the Hawaiian Islands comes in the form of “Trade Wind Showers” which lead to the ubiquitous forecast of “Night and Morning Showers” on the ten o’clock news, but don’t often ruin your day. I also know that much of the rain in the winter comes in the form of winter storms that often make for heavy rains all over all the islands during their passage. On the days when those storms are over Kauai or Oahu it usually rains all over the island.

I’m an Engineer by training and experience, so that makes me want to gather data, and I did so this last month. There is a web site (http://tinyurl.com/2gy2hbu) with four real-time webcams – in Hanalei, Kapaa, Lihue, and Poipu – that clearly show (after a little practice) whether it is raining, cloudy, or sunny in each location. I recorded those webcams daily in December 2010. Then I tabulated the results.

The resulting video is up on YouTube, so you can see for yourself, but the bottom line is that for the 25 days that I recorded (I missed a few days over the holidays) there were only two more instances of rain in Hanalei than in Poipu (6 vs 4). Here’s the link (click the icon at the lower right corner to watch in full screen). The tally is shown at the end, so at any time you can stop the player, slide the Progress Bar to the right, and resume, to see the tally.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yB7w-6nErWU

Santa Rosa...
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1. Re: Kauai Weather in Winter

"This forum has many posts that say “It rains more on the North Shore than in Poipu in the winter.”

There’s no doubt that’s a true statement. There are lots of statistics to prove it - total rainfall by month, and daily tabulations of rain-gauges."

So, Hank, what are you saying then? That it's true but it's really not all that true? Just curious. Color me confused.

When people ask me the question about rainfalls around the island I find it easiest to just give them the written staticstics. There are so many variables within those statistics that one can drive themselves nuts trying to figure it out how it might impact one's own stay. In the end the best one can do is just look at the figures and make a decision from there. Many people will understand that much of the rainfall is in the early morning or evening and some other variables.

You're right over in Kailua in the winters? You should head on over to Kauai's north shore also.

Kailua, Hawaii
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2. Re: Kauai Weather in Winter

<<So, Hank, what are you saying then? That it's true but it's really not all that true? Just curious. Color me confused.>>

I'm saying "Here's what the weather was, each morning in December in each of four spots on Kauai. Have a look"

Honolulu, Hawaii
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3. Re: Kauai Weather in Winter

So, the data demonstrates that Hanalei has a fifty percent higher frequency than Poipu....

That sounds about right.

Los Angeles...
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for Venice, Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur
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4. Re: Kauai Weather in Winter

So Hank, before I decided to pursue a "practical" career versus a life of a scientist, I took several statistics courses and also ran some statistical studies, and clearly remember the need for a representative sample and disregarding outliers. Did you tabulate your results based upon the December of 2010? If you based your results on December 2010 only, there is an issue with your sample. This past December indeed appears to have been a rogue one with regard to the amount of rain in the South and North Shores. Hence, an outlier perhaps? Historically, the North Shore experiences much more precipitation. But, again, I will defer to you since you are the scientist here.

5. Re: Kauai Weather in Winter

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