Hilo sometimes gets bad press for being on the ‘wet’ side of the island. While this is true, and Hilo doesn’t see the amount of sunshine and clear skies that are standard for the west (Kona) side, it doesn’t mean you should stay away. Just count on getting (tropically) wet once or twice, and enjoy the lush rainforest that grows because of the rain.
If you are interested in the general weather trends for Hawaii you should read our comprehensive guide:
Monthly average Hilo weather: temperature, rainfall and cloud cover
Average temperatures in Hilo are between 70°F and 75°F (21 and 24 °c). August is the warmest month, and January the coolest. However, and especially for those visitors from the US mainland, temperatures here are always pleasant.
As mentioned above, Hilo lies on the windward (rainy) side of the Big Island and receives quite some precipitation. For example, downtown Hilo gets 142 inches of rain per year. Compare this to the 9 inch at the resorts close to Waikoloa, and 27 inches in downtown Kona.
The wettest month is November, the driest month June. Most of this rain falls between the late afternoon and early morning, but especially in March/April and November/December it can be wise to pack a small umbrella.
Roughly half of the days in Hilo are completely cloudy. March, April, and May are the most cloudy months, with clouds blocking the sun on average 70% of the time. September and January are the sunniest months, with a cloud cover between 50% and 60% of the time.
Hourly average Hilo weather: air temperature and cloud cover
There are only small differences in cloud cover throughout the day. More often than not, you will see a cloudy or rainy sky in Hilo. However, about 40% of the time the sun will break through.
Throughout the day there is only a limited (5 °F) variation in the air temperature. Direct exposure to the sun will make it feel warmer, and windchill and rain cooler.
Hilo weather forecast
All the information on this website deals with average temperatures, and it is very likely that the day-to-day weather deviates from these numbers.
If you are interested in the current weather conditions and weather forecast for Kona, please look up the NAOO forecast.
Weather summary for downtown Hilo
we summarize all the information above in the following table. In the table you find the monthly averages for the air temperature, the amount of rainfall and the percentage of cloud cover.
If you are looking for 100% sunshine during your Hawaii Hilo is not the city for you. Anyone else should reserve a couple of days in their itinerary for the ‘wet’ side of the Big Island to get a taste for the lush, damp, warm, and green side of the Big Island.
|month||Temperature (°F)||Rainfall (in)||Cloud Frequency (%)|
All tables and figures on this page have been created using data from the following source:
Giambelluca, T.W., X. Shuai, M.L. Barnes, R.J. Alliss, R.J. Longman, T. Miura, Q. Chen, A.G. Frazier, R.G. Mudd, L. Cuo, and A.D. Businger. 2014. Evapotranspiration of Hawai‘i. Final report submitted to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers—Honolulu District, and the Commission on Water Resource Management, State of Hawai‘i.
The data have been downloaded from the Climate of Hawai’i website, which provides a set of maps of the spatial patterns of climate for the major Hawaiian Islands.