We are on location at the Kite beach, Kanaha Beach Park, Kahului Maui. Try our pages for the first hand real-time wind and weather reports, and our forecasting is pretty good too!
Real-time Weather Reports
We are the closest location to Kite beach and Kanaha Beach. Call us for the first hand real-time wind and weather reports. our forecasting is pretty good too!. So before you drive across the island or fly inter-island give check in with our Wind Pages first. Join us on our Facebook Pages too for tips, updates and forecasts.
What Causes Wind? Wind is the result of unequal heating of the earth’s surface. The equator receives the most sunshine, and heats up more than the polar regions. The land heats faster that the ocean etc. When the heat rises it warms the air expands changing its density and causes it to rise. Rising air creates a drop in air pressure. Descending air increases the air pressure. Differences in air pressure at the earth’s surface are what cause the winds at the surface. Wind is the movement of air flowing from a high pressure area to a low pressure area. The greater the difference between the high and the low pressure, the stronger the resulting wind will be. We can see the highs and the lows on the weather maps. Extreme lows are called tropical storms or cyclones. Weather systems move across the earth’s surface, generally from west to east.
Trade Winds: Trades in the northern hemisphere blow from about 30degrees north of the equator toward the equator in a north easterly direction. The trade winds blow typically between 11-13mph, and can be stronger depending on localized effects such as land forms. When a high pressure system is north of Hawaii, it creates northerly winds in the islands. When there is an especially low pressure cell south of the islands the wind will be extra strong. When a High pressure cell is parked directly over the islands, the trade winds will shut down. When the trades are absent, there will still be light winds caused by convection (heating of the land). The convection wind is called a sea-breeze. The sea breezes are present during trade conditions but are usually dominated by the stronger trade winds. Trade Winds, and sea breezes can work together to compliment the wind, or can work against each other to cancel the wind.
Kona Winds: Sometimes the position of the high and low pressure cells are reversed, and we have a high to the south and a low to the north. This will cause the wind’s direction to reverse. The winds will then blow from the southerly direction. In Hawaii the southerly winds are called Kona winds. The word “kona” means leeward. So the kona winds are blowing onto the (usually) leeward sides of the islands. Kona winds often bring rain and stormy conditions. Konas are associated with tropical storms and can become quite intense and devastating.
Local Wind Effects: Hawaii is a mountain range in the middle of a flat ocean. The islands are the mountain tops protruding from the sea surface. Some peaks reach over ten thousand feet above sea level and up into the air. These peaks and ridges create a major obstacle for the wind. Where possible the wind will go around the peaks, and will tend to flow along valleys. The heights of peaks and the topography of the land, and in particular the orientation of the peaks and valleys will determine where the wind will flow. On Oahu there are two mountain ranges directly across the path of the trade winds. These act as a barrier to the wind. The north shore is protected from the trade winds, and this creates ideal no-wind surfing conditions there. The north shore of Maui has two large mountains, one at each end, and a large valley in the middle. The north easterly trade winds are forced to go between the two mountains and flow along the valley and across to the other side of the island. This creates that ideal conditions on Maui’s north shore for windsports, like windsurfing and kiteboarding. This also creates extreme offshore winds on the south shore that can be dangerous to unwary sailors, especially small craft
About Maui Winds: Wind on Maui is dominated by trade winds, and Local wind effects such as that Venturi, Bernoulli, and sea-breeze effects, which can drastically affect the wind-scape across the island. Each location on Maui will have a specific wind profile, and syndrome. The island’s local geography interacts with the trade wind flow, and drastically alters its direction and strength. The wind often blows from two or more different directions at once. Airflow is sometimes divided by the mountains, or funneled and channeled along the valleys. The position and proximity of neighboring islands will affect the winds also. The best guesses of wind conditions will come from a combination of good weather data, local knowledge and eye witness accounts.
Beware of offshore winds: On any island you can find one side with onshore winds, and one side with offshore winds. Choosing one location over another will depend on the conditions you are seeking for your particular sport. Strong offshore winds are potentially hazardous to windsurfers, kayakers, and kiteboarders. Never sail in offshore winds unless you have dedicated support boats with you. Also strong Onshore winds can be dangerous to kiteboarders. Kiteboarders should not attempt to ride when the wind is blowing directly onto the land. Any mishap could potentially cause the kiter to crash onto the land. The ideal conditions are side-onshore, or side shore winds.