Rainfall lessens drought concerns

LIHUE — The drought that has plagued Kauai for months is slowly loosening its reins, said Kevin Kodama, hydrologist for the National Weather Service of Honolulu.

“There’s a moderate drought near Hanapepe, but Kekaha is good, and there’s no problem in the North Shore,” Kodama said.

For example, in the month of May, the rain gauges in Anahola and Hanalei reported higher-than average rainfall. Anahola received 3.63 inches of rain, which is 0.20 inches more than the average. The gauge in Hanalei reported 8.92 inches of rain, which is 2.45 inches more than the May average, according to the NWS.

However, the Hanapepe rain gauge received 1.33 inches of rain. The average amount of rain in May for Hanapepe is 1.72 inches. The Kalaheo rain gauge also saw lower-than normal rainfall. The average amount of May rainfall in Kalaheo is 3.44 inches, but this year, the gauge received 1.47 inches, according to the NWS.

Last month, the rain gauges on Kauai recorded near to above average rainfall. The gauge on top of Mount Waialeale had the highest monthly total of 38.90 inches, according to the NWS.

Rain gauges in the Wailua Ditch, Kilohana and Wainiha saw higher-than-average rainfall in May. The average amount of rainfall in the Wailua Ditch is 13.94 inches. This year, the area saw 20.83 inches of rain. Kilohana, which has an average of 12.02 inches of rain, received 19.96 inches of rain. Wainhia’s average rain fall is 7.78 inches. Last month, the area received 16.52 inches of rain.

Due to the cold frontal passage on May 6, the Wainiha rain gauge also reported the highest daily total at 7.15 inches

The Kokee rain gauge had a monthly total of 8.95 inches, which is the rainiest May for that area since 2002, according to NWS.

Kodama doesn’t expect the wet conditions to last much longer.

“We’re heading into the dry season, so even though things got pretty wet in the early part of spring, I don’t expect it to continue,” he said. “It’s going to dry out, which is to be expected this time of year.”

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