Hilo: Geography and Climate

Hilo is located on Hilo Bay on the eastern side of the island of Hawaii, 216 miles southeast of Honolulu (on the island of Oahu). The area's topography is mostly sloping, from the tops of the scenic Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa mountains to the sea. Hilo is located less than 30 miles from Kilauea, one of the most active volcanoes on earth, which has been emitting lava since 1983. Lava flows have been responsible for the destruction of nearly 200 homes since then, and they continue to menace the island. Much of the lava has reached the ocean, enlarging the island of Hawaii by about 500 acres.

The Hilo region has a warm semitropical climate and experiences abundant rainfall without the droughts and shortages that trouble other parts of the island. The rain, which generally falls during the night, keeps the area fresh and green. It also results in many waterfalls. Hilo's rich soil is conducive to the growth of a variety of diversified agricultural products. At the summit of Mauna Kea the temperature ranges from about 31 to 43 degrees. In winter there is frost above the 4,000-foot level and snow above the 10,000-foot level.

Area: 54 square miles (2000)

Elevation: 38 feet above sea level

Average Temperature: January, 71.3 80° F; July, 75.5° F; annual average, 73.0° F

Average Annual Precipitation: 134 inches