Lahaina Noon

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The only day of the year when you can lose your shadow.

• General: Educational • General: Guide

Lahaina Noon 2019 Dates & Times

Here is a list of dates and times to experience a Lahaina Noon in Hawaii in 2019.
O'ahu > Honolulu (Waikiki): July 16, 2019 at 12:37 PM
Maui > Kahului: July 18, 2019 at 12:32 PM
Big Island > Hilo: July 24, 2019 at 12:26 PM
Big Island > Kailua-Kona: July 24, 2019 at 12:30 PM
Big Island > Volcano: July 25 at 12:27 PM

What Is Lahaina Noon?

Lahaina Noon is a tropical solar phenomenon where the sun passes exactly overhead at solar noon (the subsolar point). The term "Lahaina Noon" was created by The Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum in Hawaii and is only used locally.

Because the subsolar point travels only through the tropics, Hawaii is the only state in the United States to experience Lahaina Noon. The rest of the nation recognizes this event as summer solstice.

Hawaii and other locations between the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn receive the sun's direct rays as the path of the sun passes overhead before the solstice and retreats to the south afterwards. At the exact time of Lahaina Noon, which can occur anywhere from 12:17 PM to 12:43 PM, objects that stand straight up (like flagpoles, telephone poles, you, etc.) will not cast a shadow.

The most southerly points in Hawaii experience Lahaina Noon on earlier and later dates than the northern parts. For example, in 2001 Hilo on the Island of Hawai'i encountered the overhead sun around May 18 and July 24, Kahului, Maui on May 24 and July 18, Honolulu, Oahu on May 26 and July 15 and Lihue, Kauai on May 31 and July 11. Between these two dates, the sun is slightly to the north at noon.

Chosen in a contest sponsored by the Bishop Museum in the 1990s, Lahaina Noon was the selected nickname because la haina (the old name for Lahaina, Hawaii) means "cruel sun" in the Hawaiian language. The ancient Hawaiian name for the event was kau ka la i ka lolo which literally translates as "the sun rests on the brains." This yearly event is covered Hawaii Media.