The winter months are the best time to go for a run, especially for families with kids, but Hawaii has become so cold that it’s the only state in the United States where running has become a popular activity.
And for good reason.
In the last few years, the number of people who have run or walked in Hawaii has exploded.
More than 70% of all residents have completed at least one run or walk, according to the state’s Department of Health.
Running has also become a common recreational activity, and more than 40% of adults have completed a running event.
But as more of the island is blanketed by a blanket of snow and ice, the weather has become increasingly cold, which means it’s no longer a great activity to do.
So what is it about the climate that keeps Hawaii running, even though it’s getting colder?
“I think the combination of being surrounded by so much snow and cold, and being in the middle of the ocean, that creates a perfect storm for getting the best of the weather,” said Dr. David Kallinen, a tropical climatologist at the University of Hawaii.
The coldest part of the winter in Hawaii, where the average annual temperature is minus 22 degrees Fahrenheit, is on the eastern end of the peninsula. “
I’ve found that when you’re in the warm season, it’s really cold in most parts of the state, but it’s always going to be cold when you get to the cooler season,” Kallininen added.
The coldest part of the winter in Hawaii, where the average annual temperature is minus 22 degrees Fahrenheit, is on the eastern end of the peninsula.
In addition to the Pacific Ocean, Hawaii has two big, arctic tundras that are much warmer than the Pacific Northwest.
In October, the mercury in the Big Island reached minus 42 degrees, the highest since March 2017.
The weather patterns in Hawaii are also unique because the land is so wet that even though the ocean has cooled, there are still warm temperatures and deep pockets of snow that can last for days.
The island of Kauai, for example, has been blanketed in snow for five months in a row, and has been so wet since January that it was freezing at one point on the west coast.
In August, a big storm brought down more than a foot of snow in the city of Waikiki.
In Honolulu, the rain has also been more than twice the normal rate.
In a year when the island’s winters are relatively mild, there is also an abundance of plant life, which makes it possible to have a lot of activity, Kalliniinen said.
“We’ve had the best winter on record,” he said.
Even with the warm weather, there aren’t many places to run.
In some parts of Hawai’is islands, it can get as cold as minus 30 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Hawaiian islands also have some of the lowest air temperatures in the nation.
In January, the temperature was minus 18 degrees in Oahu and minus 16 degrees in the islands south.
In other parts of Hawaii, it was minus 30 below zero in Honolulu.
Kallinisen said that for most of the year, the islands are fairly well insulated.
“There are very few areas that are actually really going to get below zero,” he explained.
“It’s just a matter of when, where, and how often that happens.
It’s not a constant thing.”
Kalleninen also said that there are a few places that are particularly warm, such as Waikalū and Maui.
But it’s hard to find these places because they’re far away from most of Hawaii and they’re in different parts of Oahu, where there are fewer people and less snow.
“You’re not going to see a lot in those places,” Kanau said.
So, if you want to go run, you’ll have to find a way to get there.
For some, this means running at night, when the temperatures are a little warmer.
The warmest parts of Honolulu, such to the west, are often the best for running because of the snow and wind, Kanui said.
For those in the north, there may be a couple of days where the weather is more conducive to running.
But those parts of Waipahu and the southern islands are also cold, making them less conducive for running.
And Kallinki said there are places where running can be challenging.
“If you have a really cold night, you’re going to need to do it on the grass, which is very dry and you can’t get a good grip on your foot,” he added.
Kannui said that as a climatist, he finds the conditions to be the best.
“They don’t really have much wind, which creates a lot more opportunity to do really intense runs, and then you get a little bit of snow,” he told Al Jazeera.