Hold on to your hat!

June 7, 2023
Maui experiences significant winds due to several geographical and meteorological factors.


Location and Topography: Maui’s location in the middle of the Pacific Ocean exposes it to trade winds that blow consistently from the northeast. These trade winds are the result of the temperature difference between the equator and the poles, combined with the rotation of the Earth. As the air flows from high-pressure areas to low-pressure areas, it creates the prevailing winds experienced on the island.


Mountainous Terrain: Maui’s topography plays a significant role in its windy conditions. The island is characterized by a series of mountains, including the dormant volcano Haleakalā. As the trade winds encounter these mountain ranges, they are forced to rise. The air cools and condenses as it ascends, forming clouds and precipitation on the windward side of the mountains. This process, known as orographic lifting, intensifies the winds as they squeeze through the valleys and gaps between the peaks.

Venturi Effect: The narrow channels and valleys on Maui act as natural wind tunnels. When the trade winds pass through these narrow passages, such as the Pailolo and ʻAlenuihāhā channels, they experience the Venturi effect. According to this principle, as the wind squeezes through a narrow space, its speed increases. Therefore, the winds on Maui can be amplified in these areas, leading to strong gusts and windy conditions.


Seasonal Variations: Maui’s wind patterns can also vary seasonally. During the summer months, the trade winds tend to be more consistent and stronger, providing a cooling effect on the island. This is due to the temperature difference between the warm landmasses and cooler ocean waters. However, during the winter months, the trade winds can be interrupted by the presence of low-pressure systems, resulting in calmer conditions.

The combination of Maui’s location in the Pacific, its mountainous terrain, the Venturi effect in narrow channels, and seasonal variations contribute to the island’s windy conditions. These factors create an environment where the trade winds prevail, leading to consistent and sometimes strong winds across the island.



Because the trade winds usually pick up around 11am, it’s a good idea to go snorkeling or other ocean activities in the morning. That way, when the winds are whipping the water and sand, you will be having lunch or hiking.

Kihei Rent A Car Newsletter

Subscribe to receive discounts, updates and other news!

Related Posts

Many Maui Clouds

Maui, being a tropical island with varied landscapes and weather patterns, is known for its diverse range of cloud formations. The unique combination of geographical features, prevailing winds, and temperature variations contribute to the formation of different cloud...

read more

April 24th Birthday

Happy 150th birthday to the Lahaina banyan tree!   TIP: The Lahaina Restoration Foundation will host a free birthday party celebrating the Lahaina banyan tree’s 150th birthday. The fun event will happen on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.,...

read more

Offering affordable

Maui Rental Cars

since 1990

As a family-owned business, we understand the budget challenges of vacationing in Hawaii. We endeavor to offer the best, personalized service and quality vehicles, for the lowest rates we can. We sincerely want our customers to have a great experience on our island!

When you rent from Kihei Rent A Car, you’ll receive great personalized service and a quality car at a reasonable price. Contact us today to make your reservation!

Pin It on Pinterest