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Pacific ENSO Update

4th Quarter, 2009 Vol. 15 No. 4


HI Flag
State of Hawaii
Seasonal Precipitation Summary

Drier than normal conditions continued to worsen the drought situation on every island in the state during the 3rd Quarter. Even though some islands are not currently under a drought classification, they are facing voluntary or mandatory water use restrictions. All islands except Oahu reported at least moderate drought, with severe drought conditions affecting leeward areas of Big Island, Maui, and Molokai, and extreme drought in South Kohala of the Big Island.

The month of July was dry; however, a surface trough moving westward across the state caused minor flooding over the windward slopes Maui and Kauai. Conditions remained dry over leeward areas of the state. In July, the Maui County Board of Water Supply extended its request for cut-backs in water use for Upcountry and Central Maui residents. Dry conditions in the leeward areas of the Big Island caused deterioration of pasture lands and adversely impacted livestock operations.

Hurricane Felicia brought the most significant weather event in August as its remnant circulation moved across the state The abundant low-level moisture helped produce much needed rainfall from Maui to Kauai. Heavy rainfall over windward Oahu on August 13 caused flash flooding in Waikane Stream and a temporary closure of Kamehameha Highway. Enhanced windward rainfall on Kauai caused water levels in Hanalei River to rise but not enough to force the closure of Kuhio Highway at the Hanalei Bridge. Unfortunately, no significant amount of rain fell on drought-stricken leeward areas on the Big Island. All islands remained below average in rainfall for the month of August, except for Lihue, Kauai which had 22 days of precipitation. Molokai had a large brush fire this month due to the moderate to severe drought conditions.

Trade winds dominated the weather pattern over and around the State of Hawaii during the month of September and all Hawaii stations received below normal rainfall. As of October 8, water restrictions and conservation notices are in place for all islands.

The presence of El Niño conditions means that probabilities favor below normal precipitation during the 2009-2010 winter season. El Niño conditions may also produce more frequent and larger episodes of high surf, mainly along north and west facing shores, during the winter months.

Additional individual rainfall station information and specific island information for Hawaii can be found in the Monthly Precipitation Summaries.

Hawaii Rainfall Summary for Select Stations, 3rd Quarter 2009

Station  
Jul.
Aug.
Sep.
3rd Qtr
Lihue Airport
Rainfall (inches)
4.40
3.24
0.90
8.54
% of Normal
208%
170%
33%
127%
Honolulu Airport
Rainfall (inches)
0.35
0.55
0.15
1.05
% of Normal
70%
120%
20%
62%
Kahului Airport
Rainfall (inches)
0.10
0.70
0.11
0.91
% of Normal
20%
132%
28%
65%
Hilo Airport
Rainfall (inches)
8.14
4.92
6.94
20.00
% of Normal
76%
50%
76%
67%



Climate Outlook: The following comments are from the US Climate Prediction Center’s Seasonal Outlook Discussion:

“NCEP tools give no indication of either above or below median precipitation for Hawaii for November 2009. NCEP models also predict equal chances for Above- Normal-and Below for temperature for Hawaii for November 2009. NCEP models predict a tendency for below normal temperature for Hawaii from DJF to MAM 2010. Below median precipitation for Hawaii is expected from DJF to MAM 2010 based on the El Nino composite and NCEP forecast tools.”



Pacific ENSO Applications Climate (PEAC) Center
c/o NOAA NWS - Weather Forecast Office Honolulu
2525 Correa Road, suite 250
Honolulu, HI 96822
(808) 956-2324

Web Master's email: peac@noaa.gov
Page Last Modified: June 01 2010 21:01:41 GMT

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