Thursday, May 10, 2012

Trip To Hawaii

We have been away to Hawaii for a Hirschboeck family wedding. The wedding, and related events, were on Oahu. We stayed at Kailua (annual rainfall 53"), on the northeast shore, across the mountains from Honolula (annual rainfall 17"). The Kailua side is windward to the east-northeast trade winds, which were very strong the first couple of days we were there. Above are two photos taken on Oahu. The top photo is looking south from the wedding site at the very green and rugged mountains of eastern Oahu. The sunset photo, just above, was taken looking west from near Diamond Head. We experienced rain at sometime during each day of the trip, as well as periods of nearly clear skies (except for the last day, when it mostly rained). My sinuses and allergies are reacting very badly to the return to the dusty Tucson air, after 8 days of breathing some of the cleanest air in the U.S.

I don't find Honolulu a very great place to visit, since it's crowded and very congested. In fact, everywhere we drove on Oahu had heavy traffic and seemed nearly grid-locked. On this past Sunday we flew from Honolulu to Hilo (annual rainfall 127"), on the Big Island, which is a pleasant, low key contrast from Oahu - at least on the Hilo side. The Hilo side is also on the northeast, trade wind side of the island, and daily rains were heavier. We stayed in Volcano Village, near the National Park (annual rainfall 103"), at 4,000 ft msl where temperatures are cool to sometimes cold. Rains at this spot were strongly diurnal, with steady and heavy rains at night and misty showers during midday and afternoon (more on the interesting meteorology of these islands later). Photos below are of a banyan tree near Hilo Harbor and of a rainbow over Halema'Uma'U Crater. This crater lies within the large caldera of Kilauea volcano. Much of the Park is currently closed to visitors and, combined with the nearly steady rains on Tuesday, resulted in a near photographic shutout at the volcano.

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