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Maui In A Kona Mood

Every once in a while the faithful Trade Winds come to a halt and are replaced by wind from the South – a Kona Wind. When it happens, it brings rain to parts of the island that usually bask in never-ending sunshine, and makes dry our wet side of the Island – Haiku. A reversal. But with this reversal we are witness to a wonderful mood change on our tropical isle of Maui.

Pineapple Fields Forever

When the air becomes still we are reminded of the volcanic activity 200 miles to the south, as the sky is tinged with red with incoming wind from the Big Island. As the sailors say, “Red in the morning. Sailors take warning.” True to is word, a storm is coming.

Double Rainbow, Double Rain

Then the black clouds roll in and the parched grasses of the South Side strain their stalks to the smell of incoming rain. They know. So do we. There’s excitement in the anticipation. Will this storm bring enough or too much? Will the gullies of the mountain flood the outlets to the sea, staining it red with Madam Pele’s earth? Or will it be too little to turn the yellow straw verdent again? Kihei, Wailea, Makena and parts of the West Maui mountains wait for this rain each year. They exist as a semi-arid desert, and like all deserts, are primed for the annual rain, completing another cycle of rebirth.

The East Side of the Same Rainbow

One of the beauties of this Island is that in a short 20 minute drive one can see both ends of the Rainbow – up close. From my perspective on this stormy morning it rises from Ma’alaea in the West and falls into the sea over Ho’okipa in the East. This year a winter storm near Alaska brought huge waves to the North Shore as the Kona storm rolled in from the South. Winter waves are a bonanza for the extreme surfers who fly in from around the world to ply the waves at Jaws (Peahi Bay).

Hookipa Enduring Storm Waves

As I pass the towns of Paia and Sprecklesville the brooding Kona is building Upcountry. We will have rain soon, and it looks like it will be plenty.

Pu'us in the Mist

The day brought rain and wind and branches across roads. But the evening brought the downpour and the grass rejoiced!

Makawao just before the Downpour

Within days after the rains, the decimated hillsides burst into life with a blanket of green. And the aquifers fill beneath the mountain, and the rivers flow into the sea. The Reversal brought Renewal.

And the Grass Rejoiced!

And the cycle begins again…


Marina Batham is the Broker In Charge for CENTURY 21 All Island’s Kahului Office.

Cell: (808) 283.5355



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