Drier Than Normal Wet Season Expected
By Meteorologist Malika Dudley / Email: [email protected]
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Honolulu released their wet season outlook for 2014 – 2015. The wet season in Hawaiʻi typically runs from October through April.
This season we should get below average rainfall although we are not expected to get as dry as we did in the 2009 – 2010 or 1997 – 1998 wet seasons.
There is a 50 to 60% chance of El Niño developing by the end of this year, which is lower than previously projected. The upcoming El Niño wet season is forecasted to be weak however heavy rain events are still likely to occur in the Hawaiian Islands. Kona storms are most likely during the wet season and can produce prolonged heavy rain events.
NOAA expects drought conditions to develop in early 2015 mainly affecting those in agriculture and on catchment systems. Short-term rainfall shortages are possible although we do not expect extreme drought conditions at this time.
Hawaiʻi’s dry season runs from May to September. Despite a very dry August and September, in 2014 the dry season was the wettest on record in the last 30 years (data based on average rankings from 8 sites across the state). Most weather gauge locations had near to above average rainfall and monthly rainfall records were broken at 16 sites across the state.
For Maui County, we experienced moderate areas of drought. On Maui, Upcountry residents were asked to reduce water use by 10% while areas of west and central Molokaʻi are still under a mandatory 20% cutback in irrigation water use from the Kualapuʻu Reservoir.
Some advice from NOAA as we head into Hawaiʻi’s wet season:
– Clean gutters and drainage ditches
– Identify evacuation routes ahead of time if you live in a flood-prone area
– Never try to cross fast-flowing water in a vehicle or by foot
– If lightning is occurring, stay indoors and be prepared for power outages