Note: Some of the text and pictures on this page
have been taken directly from the wonderful book "Hawaii
- The Big Island Revealed (The Ultimate Guide Book)"
(and it truly is!) by Andrew Doughty and Harriet Friedman.
This book is a must read for anyone visiting or thinking
about moving to the Big Island. We live here and we still
keep a copy in our car at all times. You can purchase this
book for yourself by clicking here.
of the Big Island
The Big Island is made up of five volcanoes. Kohala in the
north is the oldest. Next came Mauna Kea, Hualalai, Mauna
Loa, and finally Kilauea. None are truly dead, but only
Mauna Loa and Kilauea make regular appearances, with an
occassional walk-on by Hualalai. Nearly the size of Connecticut,
all the other Hawaiian Islands
could easily fit inside the Big Island's 4,000 square miles.
It's the only state in the union that gets bigger every
year, thanks to the ongoing eruption of Kilauea, that has
been erupting non-stop since 1983.
slopes are the trademark of this young island. It hasn't
had time to develop the dramatic, razor sharp ridges that
older islands such as Kaua'i possess. The exception is the
windward side of Kohala Mountain where erosion and fault
collapses have created a series of dramatic valleys. Two
of our mountains rise to over 13,000 feet. Mauna Kea, at
13,796 feet, is the tallest mountain in the world when measured
from its base, eclipsing such also-rans as Mount Everest
and K-2. Mauna Loa, though slightly shorter, is much broader,
earning it the moniker as the largest mountain in the world.
one of our mountains is not really a mountain at all. Kilauea,
looking more like a gaping wound on Mauna Loa, is the undisputed
volcano show-off of the planet. Hundreds of thousands of
cubi yards of lava per day issue from it's current outlet,
Pu'u O'o, creating and repaving land on a daily basis.
weather on the Big Island is more diverse than any island
or other comparably sized chunk of land in the world. You
name it, we've got it. According to the Koppen Climate Classification
System, the Big Island has 10 of the 15 types of climatic
zones in the world. Only Cold Continental Climate catergories
were absent. Here we've got tropical, monsoonal, desert
and even periglacial climates, among others. So no matter
what kind of weather you like, we are sure to have it here.
As you ascend the slopes of the volcanoes, you lose about
3 degrees for every thousand feet.
of Rainfall on the Big Island of Hawaii
eastern side of the island (Hilo side), is often
referred to as the wet side of the island as Hilo is the
wettest city in the United States. Annual rainfall is rarely
less than 100 inches in Hilo. All of this rain, of course,
makes the eastern side of the island very tropical, green
west side of the island (Kona side) is dramatically
drier averaging between 30 to 40 inches of rain. Kailua-Kona
has weather that is best described as eternal springtime.
It is almost always warm and wonderful with average daytime
highs from 80 - 87 degrees and average nightime lows between
64 - 69 degrees depending on the time of year.