Out of drought

KAPAA — Kauai’s drought conditions have been alleviated after a haphazard wet season, according to the National Weather Service.

“Back in October, we put out the rainfall outlook calling for a near-to-average rainfall for the state,” said Kevin Kodama, senior service hydrologist with the Honolulu National Weather Service. “What happened during the wet season was erratic.”

But it ended as the 14th wettest wet season in the last 30 years statewide.

Overall, Kauai’s wet season was the seventh-driest period in the last 30 years. The island experienced rainfall totals in the range of 50 to 80 percent of average numbers.

The conditions in the wet season, from October to April, oscillated between wetter and dryer than normal throughout the months.

“You get wet, then dry and that equals average,” Kodama said.

The season started in October with pockets of drought over leeward areas of Kauai and Maui, according to the NWS, and the wet season started with weak La Nina conditions.

March was uncharacteristically dry, and it was April’s rainfall count that improved conditions most recently, Kodama said.

From October through April, Kokee received 78 percent of the normal rainfall count, with a total of 39.58 inches. The norm is 50.47 inches.

Normal wet season rainfall at Waialeale is 226.23 inches, and during the 2016-2017 wet season, the area received 161.80 inches or 72 percent of normal.

Hanalei received 84 percent of normal counts with 46.58 inches. The norm for Hanalei is 55.6 inches.

Anahola received 64 percent of normal rainfall, with 22.54 inches recorded. The normal level for Anahola is 35.02 inches.

Kapahi received 77 percent of normal levels, with 48.56 inches. The normal rainfall count for the wet season in Kapahi is 62.89 inches.

Lihue Airport recorded 56 percent of normal rainfall during the wet season with 15.14 inches. The normal level for that area is 27.25 inches.

Port Allen received 11.11 inches, 54 percent of the average 24.39 inches of rainfall; Hanapepe received 20.06 inches, 82 percent of the average 24.39 inches; and Waimea Heights received 12.84 inches during the wet season, which is 72 percent of the average 17.75 inches.

May through September brings Hawaii into the dry season and forecasters are expecting an average season.

“Leeward areas are going to have the seasonal dryness and we’re expecting a normal brush fire season,” Kodama said. “Right now everything’s pretty green overall and it might be a little delayed, but by the August time frame it’ll be a normal season.”

Moving into Memorial Day weekend, a few clouds could drop some rain on Kauai’s north and eastern shores, and forecasters are predicting a chance of scattered showers moving in on Sunday.

Forecasters predict a 30 percent chance of between a quarter and half an inch of rain on the North Shore starting Sunday, with the chances lowering to 20 percent on Sunday night and into Memorial Day.

The weather should be clear with a 5 mph southwest wind on the North Shore by Monday night.


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