After the rain

Oil on Canvas 16x20



To understand Maui weather, you have to realize the different micro-climates that exist here. The windward side of the island receives lots of rain ... the trade winds blow in the moist ocean air, the mountains lift the air and cause it too cool, and it condenses and causes clouds and rain. The leeward side of the islands are in a rain shadow ... they are much drier and hotter than the windward side. The summit area of the West Maui Mountains is the second wettest spot on the face of the earth ... receiving 400 inches of rain a year! Yet in Lahaina, at the base of these mountains on the leeward side, the annual total is a sparse 12 inches or so! The trade winds typically blow from the northeast, leaving the southwest sides of the island dry and warm and producing rain forests on the north facing slopes.Another factor contributing to our microclimates is elevation. The summit of Haleakala is 10,000' and it gets cold up there! On rare occasions it even snows. The town of Kula is much cooler in the daytime than at sea level. Here, after a rain you can take time to stop and smell the flowers.




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