The best time to visit Honolulu, Hawaii, is from April to June. Immediately following the high tourist season, these months offer the ideal combination of lower prices and good weather.
The other “shoulder” tourism season in Honolulu runs from September to December, but it’s not as ideal as the springtime as it comes with a higher hurricane risk and significantly more rain. Either will give you the benefit of avoiding large crowds and overpriced bookings, but why not have the best of both worlds?
Even with its warm, tropical climate, Honolulu is one of those travel destinations that go through big weather changes from season to season, making choosing when to go crucial for planning an uber-enjoyable holiday.
Ready to get started? This complete Honolulu weather guide, broken down by season and month, will tell you exactly when to visit for the best experience possible.
Weather in Honolulu
In Honolulu, the spring season offers relatively moderate weather conditions. The rain from the rainy season, spanning throughout the winter months, begins to taper off into the spring months.
While spring temperatures are high, they generally stay between 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit and are less often accompanied by unbearable humidity levels. You’ll also find a bit more of a “cooling down” period at night than you will in the coming months.
Spring slots in right after Hawaii’s high tourist season, meaning crowds and prices will begin to settle back down to more reasonable amounts. Between the comfortable temperatures, less rain, and budget-friendly fares, the spring shoulder season is a great season to travel to Honolulu.
Summer in Hawaii may sound like a great time to kick back and relax under a palm tree, but unless you’re used to extreme tropical climates, this really isn’t the case.
Temperatures in Honolulu in summer rise up towards the 90s and are compounded with a lot of humidity. For many travelers, the summer heat and humidity can be unbearable if they’ve planned to spend most of their Oahu summer vacation outdoors or take on physically strenuous activities like hiking.
The summer months also make up the peak of Hawaii’s hurricane season. While this isn’t typically a major concern on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, it’s worth keeping in mind when planning your holiday.
While all this might seem like it lends itself to a fairly wet stretch of time, the summer months make up the bulk of Honolulu’s dry season, and hardly any rain is expected day-to-day.
Like the spring, the fall season is a fairly reasonably priced and comfortable time to travel to Honolulu. You’ll find that the precipitation starts to pick back up, which helps to cut the humidity without pouring down in overwhelming amounts.
Fall temperatures hover in the moderate mid-80s, which is the perfect “tropical” weather for the average tourist: Not-too-hot and certainly not cool by any means.
The end of hurricane season does extend into fall, but the majority of tropical storms occur prior to the end of September. Most agree this doesn’t pose a large enough risk to avoid booking your vacation during these months, especially in the later fall, but it’s always important knowledge to keep in your traveler’s toolkit.
No need to worry about cold weather during Honolulu’s “winter” season, but you may want to keep an eye on the weather forecast nonetheless. November to March makes up Hawaii’s rainy season, with as many as 15 days in a month calling for rain—and a whole lot of it, at that!
Surprisingly, despite having less-than-ideal weather, winter is the most popular time for tourists to head to the islands of Hawaii. Due to the overlap of school holidays, winter is a particularly popular time for families with young children.
If you’re traveling on a stricter budget or navigating tourist crowds isn’t really your thing, avoiding the winter season wouldn’t be the worst idea.
Smack dab in the middle of high tourism season, January is one of the busiest months of the year and a popular time to visit for travelers.
That said, January’s popularity is mostly to do with the desire for North American tourists to escape their own harsh winters, as well as a bit of spillover from Christmas and New Year getaways. Though January in Honolulu is not bad by any stretch of the imagination, it’s also not the most ideal time of year weather-wise.
January is well within the bounds of Honolulu’s rainy season, with an average of 58mm falling over 14 days. Besides the rain, temperatures remain a comfortable 80°F (26°C) and dip down to a low 66°F (19°C) overnight.
Again, there’s nothing terribly wrong with the weather in January, but frankly, Honolulu can do better.
February is the coldest month of the year in Honolulu, but since the average temperature rarely dips below 66°F (19°C) throughout the night and 80°F (26°C) under the strongest afternoon sun, the superlative is a bit of an oxymoron.
Rain is fairly common during the month of February, but tourism is still thriving in its peak season. This might be a deterrent if you plan to lay on Honolulu’s beaches all vacation long, but it rarely holds people back from visiting, so it’s not too big of an issue.
How much rain are we talking about here? About 50mm falling over 11 days.
Temperatures in March increase by just a couple of degrees, with average highs and lows sitting at 81°F (27°C) and 68°F (20°C), respectively. As it’s the last month of the rainy season, you’ll still see a fair amount of precipitation, though, with an average of 13 rainy days.
Though the amount of days increases slightly from the month of February, the amount stays practically still, around 51mm expected, promising shorter, less intense showers.
March makes up the tail-end of Hawaii’s peak tourist season, with one last surge during school-aged families’ March Break before the volume of vacationers at Honolulu’s most popular tourist attractions tapers off, and rates at the most popular hotels in Honolulu begin to drop.
April is the first month of Hawaii’s dry season. With the lack of rainfall to cool things down, the temperatures start to climb slowly.
Although a couple of degrees difference might not make a huge difference now, in a couple of months it’ll be far too muggy to enjoy. Inching up to a high of 83°F (28°C) and a low of 69°F (20°C), April is the perfect compromise between warmth and comfort for your Honolulu itinerary.
Though the number of rainy days only decreases by one (12 days) in the month of April, the start of Hawaii’s dry season brings a giant reduction in the amount of precipitation, with an average of just 16mm falling throughout the entire month. When you average that out, it’s barely a sprinkle during any given rainfall.
Increasing by a couple of degrees yet again, May comes with a balmy 85°F (29°C) daily high and stays elevated at 71°F (21°C) after the sun sets. This may not be the ideal sleeping condition, but it at least offers some respite from the heat overnight, which you won’t get during the height of summer.
May marks the start of Hawaii’s dry season, and with it comes a huge decrease in precipitation. Rainy days stay elevated at about ten, but the average amount falls all the way down to 15mm. Just a quick tropical shower now and again, and then you can get right back to your day in Honolulu.
If you want to laze around on Honolulu’s beautiful beaches (like Waikiki Beach or Ala Moana Beach Park) or engage in outdoor activities like tackling some popular Oahu hikes, May is a pretty safe choice.
As the average daily high climb to 87°F (30°C) and lows hold firm at a toasty 73°F (22°C), June in Hawaii is hot and humid. If you struggle to adjust to extreme temperatures or catch any ZZZs without a significant cooldown, then summer won’t be a great time for you to travel to Honolulu.
Precipitation shouldn’t be much of a concern when planning a Honolulu holiday in June, as it’s the driest month of the year. That said, it’s worth keeping in mind that this marks the beginning of hurricane season for the Aloha State.
Hurricanes (cyclones) are not common in the Hawaiian islands, and the start of the season is pretty slow, with most tropical storms blowing through in July, August, and September. But for your safety and comfort, it’s always good to have it on your radar.
July in Hawaii is a daily scorcher. Averages start at 74°F (23°C) and max out at 88°F (31°C), with extreme humidity—proceed with caution.
Those used to tropical climates will have no trouble adjusting to July in Honolulu, while visitors from more moderate climate zones may find the heat overwhelming.
July is perhaps the “true” start of hurricane season, as one of the couple months where tropical storm occurrences are the most concentrated. Aside from the occasional storm, though, you won’t see too much rain. About 13mm over 14 days is standard for July.
August is entirely too hot and humid for most travelers. In fact, August is the hottest month of the year in Honolulu, with daily highs reaching 89°F (32°C) and barely dropping to 75°F (24°C) overnight. Keep in mind that these figures don’t even take humidity into account, which is where the majority of the August heat comes from.
Rainfall remains fairly minimal throughout the month, not offering much relief from the heat and humidity, with just 14 mm falling over 13 days.
Yet another reminder: August falls smack-dab in the middle of hurricane season. If you can avoid visiting in August, you should: The month is possibly the least desirable time to travel to Honolulu.
September is almost as hot as August, maintaining a daily high of 89°F (32°C) and a low of 74°F (23°C). If you choose to brave these hot temperatures,, be sure to bring cool, breathable clothes and book accommodations with air conditioning—or, at the least, a really good fan!
Rain remains minimal in September, with an average of 18 mm falling over 13 days—pretty much the standard for the dry season in Hawaii.
Though the difference is small, October is the month when Honolulu’s temperatures begin to cool back off. With temperatures sliding down only a couple of degrees, you can expect daily highs to average about 87°F (30°C) and lows to be around 73°F (22°C).
October is the last month of Hawaii’s dry season, but with comes a surprising amount of rain. Over an average of 13 days, the same as in September, the actual amount of precipitation will more than double, jumping up to 47mm.
Continuing on with the downturn in temperatures, November comes with highs hitting 84°F (29°C) and lows of 71°F (21°C). This might seem like a bit of a bigger difference when compared to the hottest months of the summer season, but it never gets too cool in Hawaii.
Comparatively, it’s a bit of a downward jump, but the tropical climate will still be plenty satisfying for those traveling from the north.
November is both the last month of the hurricane season and the first month of the rainy season. It’s one of the lower-occurrence months for high-intensity tropical storms, but it’s worth keeping in mind as you plan your Honolulu itinerary.
The biggest change in weather in November will be the increase in rain, creeping up to 61mm over 14 days.
You’ll see a huge uptick in tourist traffic to Hawaii during the month of December, but this is more circumstantial than weather dependent.
Hurricane season is now officially over, but December is the wettest month of the year, so you’ll still see a fair amount of precipitation. Approximately 82mm falling over 15 days is the monthly average. In other words, you can expect about a 50/50 divide between rainy and sunny days.
What about the temperatures? Well, it stays nice and warm in Honolulu in December, hovering around 81°F (27°C) during peak daylight and staying around the 68°F (20°C) mark through the evening.
A Honolulu vacation in December can certainly be comfortable if a couple of rainy days spent at indoor attractions don’t bother you. Just keep in mind that you’ll be dealing with larger crowds and higher costs.