Depiction of the orographic effect on high islands


Figure 2-2 Depiction of the orographic effect.  The amount and location of rainfall in Hawai‘i and other high islands is strongly controlled by orographic processes. As warm air approaches a mountain range, it rises, cools, and condenses in orographic clouds, causing rainfall. On very high mountains in Hawai‘i, as the cooled air continues to rise, it reaches the trade wind inversion layer, at which point the air again warms, and above which there is little to no precipitation.

(From Rainfall Atlas of Hawai‘i, Giambelluca, T.W., Q. Chen, A.G. Frazier, J.P. Price, Y.-L. Chen, P.-S. Chu, J.K. Eischeid, and D.M. Delparte, 2013: Online Rainfall Atlas of Hawai‘i. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc. 94, 313-316, doi: 10.1175/BAMS-D-11-00228.1.)