East Hawaii News

Feeling Chilly? You Should, But it’s Not Quite Record Cold Out There

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It’s mid-February, so spring hasn’t quite sprung — there’s still at least a few more weeks of winter left. And people in East Hawai‘i are feeling the season.

“It’s been extra cold this year. I hate it!” Nova Sanchez of Leilani Estates in Puna, who has been using a space heater in her bedroom, told Big Island Now via Facebook Messenger. “What also makes it worse is we didn’t even get a summer last year. I kept waiting for the hot, beautiful rolling days, but I got like two weeks of that. It was quite wet this last summer.”

Hilo resident Kathryn Naipo agreed that the weather as of late has been chilly.

“It’s been hella cold up at my place in the mornings and night!” Naipo, who lives in upper Hilo, told Big Island Now via Facebook Messenger. “But the whole house is tile, so it seems even colder.”

While there haven’t been any record lows set so far this year — at least not yet — the beginning of 2022 has been cool.

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According to data from the National Weather Service in Honolulu, the temperature dipped to as low as 60 degrees Jan. 22 in Hilo. And for the most part, lows recorded at the Hilo International Airport through Sunday, Feb. 13, haven’t risen above 70 degrees. The lowest temp recorded thus far in February was 62 degrees on Feb. 10.

Data show that even daytime temperatures in the Hilo area haven’t gotten much warmer than the mid-80s since the beginning of 2022.

To compare, NWS data show that the normal average low temperature for January in the Hilo area is 64 degrees, with an average normal high of 79. The average normal low for February is the same, at 64 degrees, and the average normal high temp for the Hilo area in February is 78.

It hasn’t been too far outside the norms, but there’s been some chilly mornings recently in East Hawai’i.

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“It sure has been chilly in the mornings up at the summit of Kilauea (about 4,000 feet); park staff are definitely feeling it,” Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park spokeswoman Jessica Ferracane told Big Island Now in an email.

She’s been at the eruption site on a few recent occasions before sunrise to help film crews and reported that it was 44 degrees at 6:17 a.m. Feb 3.

“It is sorta funny that the molten lava we watch does nothing to keep us warm at the overlooks!” Ferracane said.

She did admit, however, that it is fun to wear winterized uniforms.

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“Most of the staff has (National Park Service)-issue parkas, wool sweaters, vests, mittens and hats to help keep us warm,” Ferracane said.

She also added that the views of the eruption are “WORTH freezing for.”

The west side of the Big Island has faired a little warmer, with the lowest temperature recorded so far this month at 68 degrees on Feb. 1, 8-9 and 12-13 in Kona. Lows for Kona haven’t gotten higher than 71 degrees since the beginning of February.

As for the upcoming forecast, it looks as though morning temps will continue to be on the chilly side.

The NWS is expecting lows Tuesday night through Thursday night in the Hilo area to be in the lower 60s with daily highs reaching into the upper 70s. The outlook also calls for a good chance of rain Tuesday night through Friday. Heavy rain is forecast for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, with the chance of precipitation starting at 50% Tuesday and increasing to at least 80% Thursday through Friday.

In West Hawai‘i, it looks like sun is on the agenda, with a 20%-30% chance of isolated showers from Tuesday through Friday. Temperatures are expected to hover in the low 80s during the day and dip into the mid to upper 60s at night during the same time frame.

Nathan Christophel
Nathan Christophel has more than 20 years of experience in journalism, starting out as a reporter and working his way up to become a copy editor and page designer, most recently at the Hawaii Tribune-Herald in Hilo.
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