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Please Note: Some of the text and pictures on this page have been taken directly from the wonderful book "Hawaii - The Big Island Revealed (The Ultimate Guide Book)" (and it truly is!) by Andrew Doughty and Harriet Friedman. This book is a must read for anyone visiting or thinking about moving to the Big Island. We live here and we still keep a copy in our car at all times. You can purchase this book for yourself by clicking here.

Geography of the Big Island
The Big Island is made up of five volcanoes. Kohala in the north is the oldest. Next came Mauna Kea, Hualalai, Mauna Loa, and finally Kilauea. None are truly dead, but only Mauna Loa and Kilauea make regular appearances, with an occassional walk-on by Hualalai. Nearly the size of Connecticut, all the other Hawaiian Islands could easily fit inside the Big Island's 4,000 square miles. It's the only state in the union that gets bigger every year, thanks to the ongoing eruption of Kilauea, that has been erupting non-stop since 1983.

Gentle slopes are the trademark of this young island. It hasn't had time to develop the dramatic, razor sharp ridges that older islands such as Kaua'i possess. The exception is the windward side of Kohala Mountain where erosion and fault collapses have created a series of dramatic valleys. Two of our mountains rise to over 13,000 feet. Mauna Kea, at 13,796 feet, is the tallest mountain in the world when measured from its base, eclipsing such also-rans as Mount Everest and K-2. Mauna Loa, though slightly shorter, is much broader, earning it the moniker as the largest mountain in the world.

Another one of our mountains is not really a mountain at all. Kilauea, looking more like a gaping wound on Mauna Loa, is the undisputed volcano show-off of the planet. Hundreds of thousands of cubi yards of lava per day issue from it's current outlet, Pu'u O'o, creating and repaving land on a daily basis.

The weather on the Big Island is more diverse than any island or other comparably sized chunk of land in the world. You name it, we've got it. According to the Koppen Climate Classification System, the Big Island has 10 of the 15 types of climatic zones in the world. Only Cold Continental Climate catergories were absent. Here we've got tropical, monsoonal, desert and even periglacial climates, among others. So no matter what kind of weather you like, we are sure to have it here. As you ascend the slopes of the volcanoes, you lose about 3 degrees for every thousand feet.

Map of Rainfall on the Big Island of Hawaii

The eastern side of the island (Hilo side), is often referred to as the wet side of the island as Hilo is the wettest city in the United States. Annual rainfall is rarely less than 100 inches in Hilo. All of this rain, of course, makes the eastern side of the island very tropical, green and lush.

The west side of the island (Kona side) is dramatically drier averaging between 30 to 40 inches of rain. Kailua-Kona has weather that is best described as eternal springtime. It is almost always warm and wonderful with average daytime highs from 80 - 87 degrees and average nightime lows between 64 - 69 degrees depending on the time of year.







Hawaii Coast Realty, LLC
75-5737 Kuakini Hwy. Ste. 102
Kailua Kona, Hawaii 96740
(808) 929-7063
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