Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
Back to Blog

How The Weather Affects Snorkeling on Kauai

A Group of people on a snorkel tour off the Na Pali Coast of Kauai

If you’re planning a trip to Kauai and you’re interested in snorkeling, it’s important to be aware of how the weather can affect your experience. The weather on Kauai is very diverse, and it can change quickly. In this blog post, we’ll talk about the different types of weather that you might encounter while snorkeling on Kauai, and what that means for your snorkeling plans.

Kauai’s Different Seasons and How They Affect Snorkeling

Even though the Hawaiian islands boast comfortable weather year-round, the winter months bring in rougher waters and surf throughout all of the islands. Many factors contribute to these conditions, including large swells generated by storms thousands of miles away from Hawaii. These swells can travel unimpeded for long distances across the ocean before reaching the islands, resulting in waves that are much larger than normal. The winter months also see an increase in the amount of rainfall, which can further churn up the waters and make conditions more hazardous for surfers, swimmers, and snorkelers. Don’t be discouraged though, you can still find plenty of safe snorkeling during the winter months on Kauai.

In general, the summer months will be better for snorkeling as the water and beaches are much calmer. The best bet is to check with a local snorkeling shop or lifeguard station to get the local scoop and reliable information. They will know which beaches are safe for snorkeling and which ones to avoid. We will also cover a few other ways to help plan your snorkeling days. With a little planning, you can enjoy Kauai’s amazing underwater world year-round.

Day-To-Day Kauai Weather & Snorkeling

Regardless of what season you visit Kauai, the general weather on the island can change every day and you should try to plan your snorkeling around the best weather. While it can be cooler in the mornings on Kauai, the water temperatures will always be comfortable year-round just like Hawaii’s air temperature.

How Wind Affects Hawaii Snorkeling Conditions

If you’re planning a snorkeling day, always remember to factor in the wind. Tropical trade winds from the northeast are prevalent year-round and can create waves on east-facing shores, which in turn causes low visibility and choppy snorkeling conditions.

How “Hurricane” Season Affects Hawaii Snorkeling Conditions

While Hawaii is rarely directly hit by hurricanes, they do get tropical storms and this can be something to look out for.

The Hawaiian Islands are susceptible to tropical depressions, storms, and hurricanes from June to November. This activity has increased since around 2014, with most storms occurring in July, August, and September. These storms can cause more rainfall, swell, and winds. While this isn’t a huge concern for the most part, it’s something to consider when you are creating your plans and itineraries.

How Rain Affects Hawaii Snorkeling Conditions

The rain will also affect snorkeling conditions. While light rain won’t ruin your day of snorkeling by any means, heavy rains normally mean you should get out of the water. This normally brings heavy winds and can reduce visibility by a lot. In order to stay safe, you should get out of the water if it starts raining hard or if you see big rain/storm clouds approaching. They can make it hard to see underwater, and hard to spot your snorkeling partners.

The Best Time Of Day For Snorkeling On Kauai

Late in the morning and early in the afternoon are the best times of the day for snorkeling on Kauai. The water is typically the calmest during these hours, making it easier to spot fish and coral. Just remember to apply reef-safe sunscreen and reapply every 1-2 hours. Whether you’re a first-time snorkeler or an experienced underwater explorer, late mornings and early afternoons are the ideal time to enjoy Kauai’s amazing snorkeling spots.

If you are sensitive to the sunlight, it could be worth it to go early morning or late afternoon. The sun in Hawaii is the strongest during ideal snorkeling hours. Just keep an eye on the tides and try to do this at lifeguarded beaches.

Check The Tide Charts Before Heading Out

As anyone who has gone snorkeling knows, the key to a good experience is timing. You want to make sure that you are in the water when the visibility is at its highest and the fish are most active. On Kauai, one of the best ways to ensure good snorkeling conditions is to keep track of the tide charts. As a general rule, low tide will offer the best visibility and the calmest water. In addition, low tide is typically when you will see the most fish, as they will be gathered in the shallower water near the coral reefs. By planning your snorkeling trip around low tide, you can maximize your chances of having a great experience.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t go snorkeling during high tide. Use common sense, and ask around at local dive/snorkel shops to see if a location is safe during high tide.

Remember to follow basic snorkeling safety rules regardless of the tide.

Come on a snorkeling raft adventure with Na Pali Riders

Na Pali Riders offer a variety of tours that combine the thrill of rafting with the opportunity to explore some of the most beautiful and remote coastlines in the world. The Na Pali Coast is home to pristine beaches, towering cliffs, and an abundance of marine life.

With Na Pali Riders, lean into your adventurous side and take a sightseeing and/or snorkeling tour! No matter what your level of experience, Na Pali Riders has a tour that is perfect for you. So come and join us for an unforgettable adventure that you will never forget.

  • Posted in: