The Rainbow State, rainbow license plates, Rainbow Drive-In, University of Hawaii Rainbow Warriors…there’s a reason why rainbows are a part of our culture. With our tropical weather, constant rain and bright sunlight, Hawaii is the perfect place to see rainbows. Just this past week, I can recall seeing two rainbows just driving around while running errands!
Before my journey abroad, I had never given rainbows much thought. They were a part of everyday life and I had never stopped to admire a rainbow in the sky. But after returning home from several years abroad, I found myself not only stopping to admire, but also snapping photos, posting it on social media and just soaking in the colors of these fleeting colorful bands.
Hawaii rains. A lot. They aren’t heavy rains (thankfully we only get these once in a while), but we do have several light showers that last for brief minutes and most of them occur in the mornings. If you watch the news here, you’ll realize that “morning showers” are almost always mentioned in the weather report. With all of this rainfall, it’s very easy to catch a glimpse of a rainbow even when you’re standing in a dry and sunny spot. Our rain is spotty and while one town may be pouring, the next can be completely dry.
Rainbows in Hawaii appear when the sun is low so in the morning or late afternoon is the perfect time for rainbow viewing. You’ll also need a drizzle for the sunlight to refract into those colorful bands.
Local tip: Manoa Valley is nicknamed “valley of the rainbows” for a reason. Locals know to expect rain whenever you drive into this valley.
You can also see amazing rainbows in Hawaii from a helicopter ride! This is always great since there aren’t many photos out there with this point of view. With the whole tiny city below, it really makes any rainbow stand out, no matter how small. Or, if you own a drone, get it up in the sky quick before it disappears!
As for me, I’ll continue to snap my photos on my phone and post them on social media. Then I’ll probably head to Rainbow Drive-In for a mixed plate lunch!
Has anybody seen any phenomenal rainbows in Hawaii? Mine was on a school bus in the morning when I was in intermediate school. It was a dreary day, but that rainbow was so bright and cheerful that it’s stuck with me over the years!
I read an awesome post on rainbows in Hawaii Photo Tours Workshop’s blog by Chris Rose. Give it a read and let them know what you think!