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Pacific ENSO Update

2nd Quarter, 2011 Vol. 17 No. 2


HI Flag
State of Hawaii
Seasonal Precipitation Summary

The final quarter in 2010 and the first quarter of 2011 were generally wet for most of the islands in the state of Hawaii. This is a very welcome change to the drought conditions present during the second half of 2010 on all the islands. In fact, all drought conditions have been eliminated on Oahu and Kauai. Also, heavy rainfall this winter has diminished drought conditions across the central Hawaiian Islands, which is typical for a La Niña winter.

On the islands of Molokai, Maui, and Lanai, heavy rains have greatly improved drought conditions. Kahului recorded 93% of normal rainfall for the quarter, while Lihue reported 136% of normal. On both islands, as well as on Molokai, pastures and vegetation continue to recover. Reservoir levels have remained steady or even increased on these islands.

Although progress has been seen on many of the islands, some areas on the Big Island of Hawaii remain in a moderate to extreme drought state. In each month of the 1st Quarter of 2011, the trade wind showers would reach the state of Hawaii, but then would weaken or move away before reaching the Big Island. The rain that did reach the Big Island was insufficient and well below normal (see Hilo rainfall summary below). Drought conditions on the leeward side of the Big Island still include deteriorating pastures and ranchers hauling water to support livestock. These drought state conditions may persist in the coming season (see climate outlook below).

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, 1st Quarter 2011

Station  
Jan.
Feb.
Mar.
1st Qtr
Lihue Airport
Rainfall (inches)
4.11
4.65
6.73
15.49
% of Normal
90%
143%
188%
136%
Honolulu Airport
Rainfall (inches)
2.87
1.85
0.98
5.70
% of Normal
105%
79%
52%
82%
Kahului Airport
Rainfall (inches)
4.31
2.85
0.71
7.87
% of Normal
115%
121%
30%
93%
Hilo Airport
Rainfall (inches)
3.69
4.14
10.32
18.15
% of Normal
38%
47%
72%
55%


Climate Outlook: The following comments are from the U.S. Climate Prediction Center’s Hawaiian Seasonal Outlook Discussion: “NCEP models predict a tendency for above normal temperatures for Hawaii for MJJ 2011. Above median precipitation for Hawaii is forecast for MJJ 2011 based on the NCEP forecast tools.”

For the MJJ forecast period on the Big Island, it is becoming less likely that the western sides of the Islands will see substantial improvement in drought conditions, as trade winds become more dominant heading toward the warm season.



Pacific ENSO Applications Climate (PEAC) Center
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2525 Correa Road, suite 250
Honolulu, HI 96822
(808) 956-2324

Web Master's email: peac@noaa.gov
Page Last Modified: May 21 2011 02:50:44 GMT

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