Hi! Jim Cantore here with the Weather Channel. Checking the forecast here along the Road to Hana in Maui, it looks like rain throughout the day and into the evening. Tomorrow’s forecast calls for – let’s see – more rain, followed by rain throughout the rest of the week. In fact, it looks like rain every day this month. We are predicting over 150 inches of rain this year – sometimes as much as 5 inches in a single day.
What do you expect, Jim? This is a Rain Forest.
Our chauffeur for the day, Angel Que, was driving us along the Road to Hana, a noted 40 mile stretch of pavement. The Road to Hana is considered one of the most scenic byways on the planet, and as we entered the tropical rainforest, it was easy to tell why.
Angel, a Maui resident for the last 17 years, explained that Rain Forests are just that – places where it rains – most every day. Hawaii has a number of the lush pieces of paradise and the Rain Forest on Maui is at the top of the list.
Rain Forests on the Hawaiian Islands are triggered by the trade winds of the Pacific that blow in the heavier, moist air from the ocean. When the moisture in the form of clouds settle in at higher elevations, the cool air turns the moisture into rain, and since the clouds never leave, it rains all the time.
The trees of the Rain Forests are extremely important as they transform massive amounts of carbon dioxide into the oxygen we need to survive. Because of the balmy weather and the abundance of moisture, plants and trees that are seen nowhere else on earth flourish here.
Along the way, we were able to pull into Hana Highway’s Garden of Eden, an Arboretum and Botanical Garden of immense beauty. We were able to drive and walk the trails in the 26-acre garden and marvel at the beauty of many exotic trees and plants. There were spectacular overlooks of tumbling mountain waterfalls and a sweeping vista of the Pacific Ocean below. The opening sequence of Jurassic Park was filmed just beneath this Garden, where over 600 plants have been botanically labeled. It was magnificent and one of the highlights of our two-day visit to Maui. Best of all, it didn’t rain until we were leaving the Rain Forest, Maui’s way of saying, “Mahalo. Please come again.” And we hope to.