Haleakala Climate Network

Photo: Late afternoon sun over Haleakala Crater. Photo taken from Pohaku Palaha Station (161) at 2470 m. Clouds are capped at a lower elevation by the Trade Wind Inversion (TWI). Photo by Tom Giambelluca.

Network Description:

HaleNet consists of two transects of climate stations along the leeward and windward slopes of Haleakala volcano, Maui Island, Hawai`i. All but two stations in the network are within Haleakala National Park. For many years this network has supported a variety of research and operational activities within the park, including the numerous species invasion issues of concern to BRD scientists and park resource managers.

HaleNet is currently operated under funding for the project, Developing a Listening Post in the Tropical Pacific: Sensitivity of Hawaiian High-Elevation and Aquatic Ecosystems to Global Change, Biological Resources Division (BRD), US Geological Survey. You can also refer to the brief introduction to the project.

HaleNet I was established in 1988-90 on the relatively dry west-northwest facing (leeward) slope, with stations at elevations of 950, 1650, 2130, 2600, and 3000 m (map). With 10-12 years of record for HaleNet I sites, these stations provide an excellent baseline for monitoring climate variability and change. We continue to monitor climate along this transect to provide indicators of global change effects on Hawaii's climate and biota. During 1999, sensors and data loggers of the HaleNet I system were replaced. Data retrieval will become more timely and reliable with the installation of a radio telemetry system (to become operational with the installation of a new repeater site, approval pending).

HaleNet II was established in 1992 to document baseline conditions and response to El Niņo-induced droughts from the heart of montane forest up through treeline and the TWI; the stations are at 1650, 1960, 2260, and 2470 m elevation along the windward slope. Stations in the HaleNet II system are remote (Figure 1), making access extremely difficult without helicopter transportation. We are grateful to Resources Management, Haleakala National Park, especially Ron Nagata, providing us transportation to the stations for the past eight years during their fence maintenance and feral animal control trips to the area. The Horseshoe Pu`u station at 1960 m elevation was badly damaged in 1996 by a lightning strike and high winds.

In December 2000, a new station was added at Auwahi at approximately 1240 m elevation on the southwest rift of Haleakala. The new station will monitor conditions in an area undergoing active management to restoration the dry forest ecosystem. Intially the new station is measuring only rainfall. By May 2001, we expect to have installed the full complement of microclimatic sensors.


Individual data and statistics in digital form are available through this site. Graphical displays can also be viewed or downloaded.



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For further information contact Tom Giambelluca: thomas@hawaii.edu
Page last modified 09 September 2000