Winter Is On The Way
While other areas of the United States experience four seasons Hawaii really has only two. Although the signs are subtle certainly not as dramatic as cooler temperatures and the changing leaves, Hawaii’s seasons are defined by several distinct occurrences that herald the beginning of the wetter winter season in the islands.
Arrival of the Kolea
Not any larger than a mynah bird, this long legged birds are by and large brown and black with males having black breasts and distinctive white swipes that run from their heads to shoulders. These birds have one of the longest migratory tracks in the bird world covering the area from the Alaska to Hawaii as well as other comparable routes in other areas of the world. The earliest groups arrive in mid October thin and worn from thousands of miles of non-stop flying to arrive in the islands where they spend the best part of the winter staking out territories and foraging for food and growing fat to head back north in the spring.
Arrival of the Humpbacks
Another winter visitor to the islands is one of the largest mammals on earth. The humpback whales make the long trek from the Alaska and the northern Pacific to the warmer waters of the islands where they spend their time breeding and birthing. The earlier pods arrive in mid-October and more arrive in November and December.
Arrival of Winter Surf
Islanders know that as they watch the daily surf reports on the nightly news, there is a distinct shift from a dominance of consistent south shore wave reports to north shore reports. It typically starts in mid-October when the winter surf reports reveal large surf breaking consistently over all north facing shores.
Although the warm weather and the sun shines all year long in the islands, there are real and measurable differences in the summer and winter months in Hawaii. These changes make the islands more than just an endless summer of sun and surf, but a way that defines the rhythm of island life.
Hawaii Travel Advice: Best time for winter whale watching is November thru March
Lottie Tagupa is a native Hawaiian, born and raised on the island of Oahu. She has been writing about Hawaii for over 10 years and currently lives in Waimea on the Big Island.
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