Wailea Point is a great snorkeling spot in Maui!

Frequently Asked Questions – What if it Rains?!?

We frequently receive questions about snorkeling in Maui from visitors to our site.  We always respond to emails, but thought our Maui Snorkel Blog is the perfect venue for questions.  So if you have any questions about snorkeling or Maui, be sure to check our new "Frequently Asked Questions" category and you may just find an answer.  This week's topic - "Oh-no! There's RAIN in the Forecast!"

Q:  Looks like clouds and rain in the forecast for our trip next week, we're bummed, can we still snorkel?

A:  Rain or clouds in the weather forecast for Maui is not unusual—kind of explains the rainbow on Hawaii license plates! But rest assured, having rain or clouds in Maui's forecast is a lot different than a similar prediction for the mainland. Rain showers and clouds are common in Maui, but in most areas they're usually short-lived. A bit of rain isn't likely to interrupt your snorkeling plans. In fact it's universally accepted that if you want to get away from the rain, hop in your car, drive ten minutes, and you'll be back in sunshine! That said, if you want to reduce your chances for rain, consider staying in South Maui or Lahaina in West Maui as both areas tend to see less rain than other parts of the island.

Snorkeling in Maui after a heavy rain isn't recommended. When it's raining this hard, you won't see a thing!On the other hand, if a major downpour hits while you're visiting Maui, we recommend changing your snorkel plans for a few days. Heavy rains cause run-off to flow into near-shore waters creating murky conditions that can last a few days until the water clears. Picture the water that runs down your driveway after washing a month's worth of dirt and dust off your car—the same thing happens on an island. We'll never forget being out in the water when a huge downpour hit. Conditions were crystal clear when we started, but after ten minutes of pelting rain (as seen to the right) we were suddenly enveloped in a wave of brown water. The clarity went from "clear sea to murky tea" in seconds. Since snorkeling is all about enjoying the underwater sights, it's best to make other plans after a major rainstorm to give conditions time to clear. That shouldn't be too difficult in a place like Maui! But if you're still determined to snorkel no matter what the conditions, as locals will tell you: "Snorkeling in murky water is just a bad idea!" Cue the theme to Jaws...

If snorkeling conditions aren't optimal, check our Exploring Maui posts for adventures to pass the time while you're waiting for conditions to clear.  Or if the surf's up and snorkeling's out, it's a great time to see some amazing surfers at these top surf spots in Maui.

For more snorkeling tips and cool things to do in Maui, check back often and pick up a copy of Mask Fins & Snorkel: The Adventure Guide to Maui's Best Snorkeling.  More questions? Contact us here or through Social Media—you can find us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Google+. We'd appreciate your support and love hearing from our fellow snorkeling fans!

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